The High Court, on Monday, did not issue any interim direction and allowed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) time till April 30 to file its response.
In a writ petition filed in the Delhi High Court, Indiamart said that the Telecom Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR), 2018, defines a ‘Customer’ to mean a subscriber and makes no distinction between customers who are using their telephone services exclusively for personal use and those who are using them for business purposes and putting out those details in the public domain.
“That our Company, to identify offline business owners who are potential users of our online classified services, uses publicly available phone numbers/ data to identify and contact persons who may be interested in listing their offline business on our website,” the company said in the petition accessed by ET.
It added that “such persons, being interested to receive commercial communications, have made their commercial communication channels including phone numbers available and easily accessible by publication either online or telephone yellow pages, business cards, directories, storefronts, and such other common/public spaces.”
The TCCCPR rightly protects the right to privacy of personal users and prohibits unsolicited commercial communications to them but must not apply to commercial users who willingly waive their privacy rights in the interest of growing their business, Indiamart said.
The company has pleaded an interim order directing the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to not to take any coercive actions arising out of the said regulations against the company till the case is disposed.
Indiamart currently has 6 million suppliers registered on its platform. “As of March 31,2020, 107 million users visited our platform to access the storefronts of 6.1 million Indian suppliers, which lists 68 million products and services across 54 industries,” it said.
Trai’s TCCCPR 2018 regulation mandates all senders of commercial SMS to register their send IDs and SMS content on a blockchain-based system which will filter all kinds of unsolicited commercial communication to protect customers from spamming and rising instances of SMS frauds.
Trai has since then been juggling with multiple legal battles by the likes of Paytm, telemarketing companies and now Indiamart to justify its complex regulation.