RJio criticizes Paytm for taking telecom operators to court on phishing frauds: Report

RJio criticizes Paytm for taking telecom operators to court on phishing frauds: Report
Photo Credit: Reuters
22 Jun, 2020

Jio, the telecom venture of Reliance Industries, has reportedly criticized digital payments platform Paytm for hauling access providers to court over phishing attacks on its users.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, in a counter-affidavit to the Delhi High Court, has alleged that Paytm is trying to shift the blame of its own lapses to evade legal liability of financial frauds occurring through its app, Economic Times reported on Saturday.

A Reliance Industries spokesperson did not respond to TechCircle’s request for comment on the matter.

The Mukesh Ambani-led telecom service provider said that mobile phone companies cannot be held liable for “unlawful activity” occurring over calls and messages as per the telecom regulator’s Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR), 2018, the report added.

“Under Section 79 of the IT Act, intermediaries are exempt from liability under the Act in respect of any third-party information, data, or communication link made available or hosted by them,” Jio was quoted as saying by the financial daily.

On May 28, Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications and subsidiary company Paytm Payments Bank had moved the Delhi High Court with a writ petition against the Indian government’s department of telecommunications (DoT), telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) and seven other respondents.

The other seven respondents were private and public telecom operators -- Reliance Jio, BSNL, MTNL, Vodafone Idea, Airtel, Infotelconnect and VMIPL.

Paytm blamed the respondents for not blocking and levying fines on fraudsters that carry out phishing activities on its customers using mobile networks, in the petition viewed by TechCircle.

The petitioner alleged that the government failed to curb the sale of SIM (subscriber identification module) cards without proper verification as stipulated in the instructions on verification of new mobile subscribers issued by the telecom ministry itself.

The Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led firm claimed that the cumulative amount lost by the customers of Paytm Payments Banks alone due to phishing activities is about Rs 10 crore through the months from July 2019 to April 2020.

It has further sought damages of Rs 100 crore from the telecom operators on the basis of damage caused to its brand and reputation as well as the loss of goodwill.

The next hearing of the case is listed for June 24.