The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to suggest a steep penalty for every unsolicited commercial call that a telemarketer makes. DoT reportedly may just make a suggestion of a penalty in such a case amounting to Rs 20,000 in its comments on proposed Right to Privacy Bill, reports say. In addition to penalising the telemarketer for every unsolicited commercial call, the DoT may even suggest that interception of phone calls be allowed, since otherwise it would be impossible to know whether a call made to a phone subscriber was unsolicited or not. That said, DoT is of the opinion that the government should increase the penalty for illegal phone interception from the existing Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crores.
It is the Department of Personnel and Training that has sought DoT's comments on the bill. Already under TRAI's regulation on pesky calls and SMSes, a penalty of Rs 25,000 has to be removed from deposit of registered telemarketers upon first violation. From there on, the penalty amount goes on increasing – to as much as Rs 2.5 lakh upon violating it for the sixth time.
Steep penalty for pesky calls may be coming! (Image credit: Getty Images)
It has been found, though, that the issue of pesky calls and SMSes has been coming more from unregistered telemarketers.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been working towards getting rid of the menace of unsolicited calls and SMSes, and that is no secret. Recently, in a step further in that direction, the body decided to get down to disconnecting facilities of those subscribers who are found sending unsolicited communication.
The developments are part of TRAI's Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Twelfth Amendment) Regulations, 2013, that it only recently released.
As per the amended regulations, once a valid complaint has been made, the telecom operator shall disconnect all the telecom facilities provided to such a subscriber after thorough investigation.
The National Telemarketer Register will include a blacklist for telemarketers and subscribers, wherein the names and addresses of such subscribers and telemarketers shall be taken down. The names included in this list shall not be removed before the completion of two years from the date of entry in the register. As for telemarketers in this list, access providers shall not provide any telecom resource to a telemarketer or subscriber appearing in the blacklist. Once the names are entered, the agency maintaining the register will share the name and address of such telemarketers or subscribers with all the access providers.