Madras High Court issues notice to telecom operators on SMS rates hike

Madras High Court issued notice to 10 telecom operators in the country after seeking petition to bar from charging extra bucks on SMSes during the festivals and public holidays. The high court bench operated in Madurai issued notices while admitting the petition by an advocate Mr.Arunachalam alias Arun. This seeking the direction to the operators and the Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) not to hike the tariff for this period. Also, petitioner Arunachalam sought an interim stay on undue and sudden hike on special occasions. However, bench court denied the stay and with an immediate action, a bench court heading justices S.Rajeswaran and S.Vimala ordered issues to TRAI and 10 operators Bharti Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Unitech, Tata Docomo, MTS Mobile, BSNL and Videocon for explanation and adjourned the case to January 21, 2012. TRAI-100-SMS According to petitioner Mr.Arunachalam, the service providers offer attractive packages while enrolling customers including 200 SMSes per day and take advantage by increasing SMS rates on the holidays and festival seasons. He said, “This creates a big hole in the common man’s pocket. It even makes him hesitate to send greetings through SMS.” This forces users to restrict sending SMS and curtail private space for free communication on important festival days. This is “violating natural justice and rights given in the Constitution of India”. Regardless of tariff plans and free SMSes, telecom operators charge Rs.1.50 per SMS on December 31st which creates a revenue of Rs.100 crores to companies, he added.

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