Stating that harassment of a cell phone user by sending obscene messages to him without his consent is a matter of common agony, the Madras High Court has said it is high time the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) put an end to the problem.

Justice Chitra Venkataraman passed the order while disposing of a writ petition by V.S. Suresh, an advocate of George Town here.

Trouble began two years ago for Mr. Suresh, who was using an Airtel connection, when he started receiving obscene messages without his consent. He objected but his request was not considered.

He went to the service provider’s office and made a complaint. After this he started receiving more such messages and the service provider deducted money from his account.

He complained to the police, but no action was taken. He moved the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court, which directed the police to register his complaint. Following this, an FIR was registered against the service provider in January last year.

The police took his mobile phone for investigation but failed to return it.

His petition seeking a direction to authorities to return the instrument is pending.

In February and May last year, he sent representations to the Chairman, TRAI and the Telecommunications Secretary to take action against the service provider.

He did not receive a reply and no action was taken. Hence the present petition.

Mr. Suresh stated that the authorities should have taken action and protected the interests of subscribers like him. Disposing of the petition, Ms. Justice Chitra Venkataraman said, “Considering the nature of the complaint made, which is a matter of common agony for even those who may not be petitioners before this court, this court feels that it is time that the first respondent (TRAI) looks into the grievance of the petitioner and puts an end to the harassment sent through messages immediately.”

The court directed Mr. Suresh to give a copy of the representation to the service provider, which should look into his grievance and do the needful.