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Paytm's Plea Claiming Hosting of Phishing Activities By Telecoms Is Misconceived and Infructuous: Vodafone Informs Delhi HC

Karan Tripathi
24 Jun 2020 4:07 PM GMT
Paytms Plea Claiming Hosting of Phishing Activities By Telecoms Is Misconceived and Infructuous: Vodafone Informs Delhi HC
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Vodafone has submitted an affidavit before the Delhi High Court stating that the petition moved by Paytm, where it is claimed that the telecoms are not taking action against phishing activities, is misconceived and shall be dismissed.

The affidavit was submitted before the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan in a plea moved by Paytm seeking protection of its consumers from the fraudulent phishing activities allegedly hosted on the platforms of multiple telecom service providers.

At the outset, Vodafone has submitted that the cause of action for filing the present petition relates to events and timelines prior to the Petitioners themselves registering on the DLT Platform.

It is further submitted that the fact that the Petitioner has approached the Deputy Commissioner of police, clearly indicates that there is alternate remedy available, for instance, suing for IPR violations.

While relying upon the TCCCPR Regulations of 2018, Vodafone has submitted that the telecoms cannot, either legally or practically, access the content of the communications sent over their networks, exercise control over such content or adjudge whether it is fraudulent.

While highlighting that the Distributed Ledgers Technology (DLT) is India's first and the world's largest use of blockchain technology in telecommunication, Vodafone has submitted that implementation of the DLT has widespread ramifications given the nature of commercial and non-commercial communications over the telecommunication networks.

'Evidently, the Petitioners having failed in their primary obligation to ensure such security to their customers or being incapable to do so, have presented the instant misconceived Petition in a manner to camouflage their own non-compliance of the obligations imposed by RBI Directions 2017 as obligations of the Respondents', the affidavit states.

On the issue of whether any action was taken by the Respondents after certain instances of phishing were brought to their notice, it is submitted that:

'Contrary to the allegations made in the Petition, in cases where the Petitioners provided evidence of registration of an FIR or of the UTM using headers similar to the Petitioners' headers in its UCCs, the Answering Respondent disconnected the offending number and disabled services in respect of the headers complained of.'

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