The Supreme Court on Monday stayed telecom tribunal TDSATs order, which had quashed Trais circular limiting the number of SMSes to 200 per day per SIM.
A bench led by Justice GS Singhvi also issued a notice to late Bal Thackerays grandson Aditya Thackeray, on whose plea the TDSAT had passed the impugned order. The court has asked Thackeray to respond within six weeks.
The apex court passed the interim order on an appeal by the Telecom Regulatory and Authority of India (Trai), challenging the tribunals order, which had on July 17 termed the ceiling on SMSes as arbitrary and against the constitutional right of freedom of speech and expression. SCs stay order may enable Trai to reinforce its circular till any further orders of the apex court.
In a separate order passed on a PIL by NGO Telecom Watchdog, the Delhi High Court had also allowed mobile phone users to send unlimited messages, setting aside the cap of 200 messages a day.
The High Court had asked Trai to bring out more measures to deal with this menace. However, it had upheld the curb on unwanted commercial SMSes saying they infringed the equally important right to privacy of unwilling recipients.
Trais appeal against the High Court order is also pending before another bench of the apex court.