The Delhi HC has removed the maximum limit on the number of SMSes that one could send per SIM, all this while. While doing so, however, the HC has retained the earlier decision to keep unwanted commercial SMSes at bay, citing that they infringe “equally” important right to privacy of “unwilling recipients,” according to latest reports coming in. Quoting a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, the reports add, “We are, therefore, of the opinion that the impugned provision (of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) insofar as it covers non-UCCs (Unrestricted Unsolicited Commercial Communications) SMS in the present form as it exists, infringes the freedom of speech of the citizens. And the conditions imposed upon the freedom of speech is not reasonable which would be protected under Article 19 (2) (which deals with reasonable restrictions of freedom of speech) of the Constitution.”
Send as many SMSes as you want (Image credit: Getty Images)
As for the unsolicited commercial calls and SMSes, the bench opined that the TRAI restriction on them was valid. The report further quoted them as saying, “We have already pointed out that the Trai has found that UCC calls and SMSes were interfering with the personal lives of the individuals as often telemarketers would call them up for selling their products. All such calls sere unsolicited, since the receiving party does not want to receive such calls or messages. These UCC messages disturb the recipients, intrude into their privacy, and impose a cost in terms of the time and efforts. In fact, they infringe the equally importance rights of the unwilling recipients.”
The issue grabbed national headlines, last year, when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) put to effect a cap on the number of SMSes one could possibly send in a day, per SIM. At the outset, the cap was fixed at 100 SMSes per day, per SIM. The move met with a lot of criticism from the masses, many of whom send more than 100 SMS per day, instead of actually making calls. It also exposed a flaw in the setup, which stated that a person with multiple SIM cards wouldn't feel the pinch, really. While the new decision to lift the cap to accomodate 200 SMSes per day, per SIM, still put a limit to the maximum number of SMS one could send in a day, it was by all means a welcoming sight. Earlier this year, TRAI also exempted text messages that are generated by and sent to computers or technical systems from the daily SMS cap. Basically, the 200 SMS per day cap has been exempted only in case the device used is not a mobile phone and there is no manual intervention required for answering the message. This is done to enable businesses to send out messages to its employees, wherein the company requires to send information to thousands of employees. This would also help various services, such as taxis booking via radio where the messages need to be sent out to the drivers, firms that need to communicate over the delivery of goods and so on.
What is your view on the latest turn of events – The HC removing the limit on the maximum number of SMSes that one can send in a day, per SIM, while still holding onto to its decision to keep unwanted commercial SMSes at bay? Do let us know in the comments section below.