Earlier this month, Paytm sued telecom operators at the Delhi High Court, arguing that telcos were responsible for making sure such scams never reach consumers. In its response, Reliance Jio told the court that the responsibility for preventing fraud was on Paytm, not telecom operators, the Economic Times reported on Friday.
Jio’s argument reportedly invokes intermediary liability under Section 79 of the IT Act, which in effect protects platforms from liability for third party content. Paytm, which is being represented by Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy, argued that SMS headers being issued by telecom operators lent such scams credibility.
The legal regime is clear. The TCCCPR 2018 regulation, says it's Telcos that carry the responsibility to prevent & punish phishing, it's they who issue the bulk sim cards & deceptive headers & SMS content (eg VM-VPYATM at top of the text message) that enables fraudsters. 2/n
— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) June 9, 2020
Paytm claims that phishers themselves register as headers and content templates that are similar to Paytm’s headers and content templates. Telecom companies have not blocked or imposed financial disincentive against registered telemarketers, the petition says. It claims that the the failure of telecom companies to prevent UCC, and by extension phishing of its customers, has “caused financial and reputational loss” to it for which it has sought damages of ₹100 crore.
The next hearing in the case is on Wednesday.
TRAI’s spam registry running on a distributed ledger system has recently been implemented, and Jio reportedly said that both the telco and Paytm signed up to the system only very recently.