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Court terms unsolicited telemarketing calls a ‘nuisance’; asks Centre for regulations

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Court terms unsolicited telemarketing calls a ‘nuisance’; asks Centre for regulations
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Smile Court terms unsolicited telemarketing calls a ‘nuisance’; asks Centre for regulations - July 13th, 2007


The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to submit firm guidelines and regulations to stop frequent unsolicited calls made by various banks and mobile service providers to cellphone users across the country.

A bench headed by Justice A K Mathur, while observing that there was a need to put an end to the woes of mobile phone users from such unsolicited calls, asked the Centre to place the rules and regulation in this regard by July 27, the next date of hearing.

The bench also observed “it is a nuisance” and there was a need to stop it.

Earlier, the apex court had sought replies from 11 respondents including the Centre, cellular operators and nationalised banks on a PIL filed by advocate Harsh Pathak alleging that indiscriminate calls landing on mobile phones was a clear invasion of one’s privacy.

The notice was issued to the Ministry of Law and Justice, MTNL, Hutch, Reliance Infocomm, Idea Cellular, Bharti Tele-Ventures and Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, HDFC and ICICI.

Pathak’s counsel Vivek Tankha submitted that the government had been making claims on paper that it favoured banning such calls, but nothing had been done so far in this regard, and users were still being troubled.

He questioned why 100 million subscribers should get themselves registered for not receiving the unsolicited calls and said that it was for service providers and the government to do something about it.

Counsels for private parties said the court should dispose of the matter as telecom regulator TRAI had already issued the Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations 2007 so as to curb unwanted telemarketing calls.

They also said the regulation would facilitate setting up of a national database called National Do-not-call Registry, containing lists of telephone numbers of all such subscribers who do not want to receive the unsolicited commercial calls.

This would save phone users from these unsolicited calls from telemarketing executives, they added.

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