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India reinstates 200 SMS daily limit

Tuesday 4 Dec 2012 2:26 p.m.

The SMS quota was originally introduced in 2011 (file)

The SMS quota was originally introduced in 2011 (file)

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By 3 News online staff

Prolific ‘txters’ in India have little to celebrate in the week of the 20th anniversary of the first SMS.

On Monday, local time, India’s Supreme Court reinstated a contentious 200-message per day per person limit with an interim order, The Times of India reports.

The SMS quota was originally introduced in 2011 by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as an attempt to stop ‘txt-spam’ from marketing companies. To begin with the quota was even stricter – allowing just 100 text messages a day – but the limit was later raised to 200.

Prominent figures including Aditya Thackeray, grandson of Shiv Sena political party founder Bal Thackeray, publicly opposed the restrictions – and in July this year the New Dehli-based Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) removed the quota, arguing it undermined privacy and the right to freedom of expression.

However the Supreme Court has now stayed the TDSAT order after hearing arguments from advocates for the daily limit, and has offered Thackeray the opportunity to file a response in the next six weeks.

The TRAI told the court that groups including charitable organisations and social activists would be exempted from the restrictions.

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