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Delhi HC Orders Telcos to Strictly Regulate Bulk Calls, SMS to Prevent Frauds And Scams

File photo of the Delhi High court.

File photo of the Delhi High court.

The order has been issued in light of a writ petition filed by Paytm Payments Bank to the Delhi High Court, which claimed that unregulated operation of unauthorised telemarketers can not only cause financial loses, but also tarnish the brand’s reputation.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued an order to all telecom operators in India and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to strictly implement regulatory consumer safeguards, in a bid to protect them from the myriad phishing attempts, financial scams and other related frauds. The ruling comes on the back of a writ petition filed at the court by Paytm Payments Bank and its holding company, One97 Communications. The court order asks TRAI and all Indian telcos to strictly restrict the telemarketing sector, in a bid to cut down on an increasing volume of scam calls and financial frauds.

The court petition, filed jointly by Paytm Payments Bank, and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) representing multiple digital payment service operators, urged the court to restrict access of bulk messaging and special numbers to unregistered telemarketers, and penalise registered marketers in cases of spam and various types of frauds that have become increasingly common in the present world. One such type of fraud that is very common incidentally affects Paytm’s digital wallet and the Paytm Payments Bank accounts, where scammers attempt to defraud Paytm customers in pretext of “account verification”.

Urging TRAI and all telcos to adhere to the regulatory body’s Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations of 2010 (TCCCPR), the Delhi High Court order gives telcos the need to assess such bulk scammers, and analyse reports to actively block them from operating. The order will also enable digital payment service operators (PSOs) to approach the Delhi HC to seek recourse against such cases of fraud. "We strongly believe that all of us including regulator, government and access providers have to come together to fight the menace of fraudulent calls and SMSs in the country. We are sanguine that Telcos will abide by the court’s order in true spirit. This is important to further reinforce the trust of citizens in digital transactions and help in building a truly digital and AtmaNirbhar Bharat," says Satish Kumar Gupta, CEO & Managing Director, Paytm Payments Bank Ltd.

Paytm alleged that such cases of frauds not only impose financial losses and disruption of mental peace for its customers, but also causes a significant impact on the brand’s reputation, which the said order will reportedly help in addressing. Other PSOs will also be benefactors of the move, which can help the companies better address cases of targeted frauds – something that has significantly increased over the past few years.