200 cap on SMSes to stay, for now: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court Monday stayed the operation of a TDSAT order that threw out the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's circular that restricted the number of SMSes that could be sent from one phone in a day to 200.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra while staying the operation of the July 17 order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) also issued notice to respondent Aditya Thackeray - the grandson of late Shiv Sena supreme Bal Thackeray.

The TDSAT order quashing the regulator's circular restricting the number of SMSes was issued on the plea by Aditya Thackeray.

The TDSAT while quashing the regulator's circular restricting the number of SMSes had described it as "arbitrary".

Thackeray contended before the TDSAT that there was non-application of mind in the regulator's circular.

The TDSAT held that the circular restricting the number of SMSes to 200 was violative of the fundamental right of free speech and expression of the citizens.

The immediate consequences of the apex court order staying the TDSAT decision is that circular restricting SMSes to 200 per day stands resurrected and comes into force.

Earlier, the TRAI circular restricted the number of SMSes that could be sent per day to 100, however, it was increased to 200 by another order later.

The court gave Thackeray six weeks' time to respond to the plea by the regulator.

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