Good news for all you text addicts! Months after many of us were outraged by a TRAI regulation that capped the amount of text messages an individual could send in a day, the Delhi High Court has said that there will be no limit on SMS!
A two-judge bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi High Court quashed the TRAI regulation that said an individual could not send more than 220 text messages a day.
The ruling came in response to a petition filed by NGO Telecom Watchdog which contended that the limit puts severe restrictions on the citizen’s right to ‘speech and telecommunication’.
TRAI made a sudden decision to impose restrictions on SMS under the garb of controlling Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC). There is no doubt that unrestricted UCC calls and SMS were interfering with the personal lives of the individuals as often telemarketers would call them up for selling their products.
But, the petition said, when TRAI had invited consultations on the idea of capping text messages in 2010, out of 53 persons, only four were in favour of the cap with a majority rejecting it outright on the grounds that telemarketers could simply buy more SIMs to circumvent the limit. State telecom companies BSNL and MTNL had also opposed the idea.
But on 27 September 2011, TRAI amended the regulations and put a cap of 100 SMS per day which was later amended to 220 SMS per day.
This cap on SMS is “undesirable, because a substantial drop in UCC calls was achieved without imposing a cap”, the petition contended, adding that the imposition of a SMS cap had been carried out in a completely non-transparent manner and was therefore illegal.
“Moreover, no country in the world has resorted to this kind of cap to control UCC, though some dictatorship countries had recently stopped SMS and internet to clamp spread of public anger against their governments,’’ the petition said.
The Delhi High Court upheld the petition and rejected any curb on SMS.