Telcos fined Rs 2,757 cr for not verifying user IDs: Govt

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 2 2012, 03:26am hrs
The government has imposed penalty amounting to Rs 2,757 crore on telecom operators since 2009 for issuing mobile phone connection against forged documents, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal informed Parliament today.

"In respect of calender years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, more than 2.4 crore consumer application forms (CAFs) have been audited during monthly sample audit and penalties amounting to more than Rs 2,757 crore have been imposed on telecom service providers," Sibal said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

The Minister said that around 10,714 complaints and FIRs have been lodged with Police till October 31, 2012 relating to cases where forged documents have been submitted for obtaining a mobile connection.

"Out of these, 8,786 cases are against subscribers who were found to be involved in forgery," Sibal said.

The Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (Term) Cells, under Department of Telecommunications, carries out monthly sample verification of CAFs along with supporting documents to cross check the compliance on photo, identity, address (PIA) basis.

Sibal said cases have been reported wherein law enforcement agencies and police have faced difficulties in tracing out the actual user due to lack of proper verification.

However, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued new guidelines for verification of new mobile subscribers which are in place since November 9, 2012, Sibal said.

Under the new rules, in cases where forged documents are submitted by the subscriber and originals are also forged, police complaint or FIR shall be lodged by the franchisee against the subscriber within 15 days of bringing this to the notice of the franchisee.

In case the franchisee fails to lodge a complaint, the licensee (telecom operator) should lodge complaint against the subscriber and franchisee within further three days.

If the licensee does not take action against the subscriber, TERM Cell shall lodge complaint against the licensee.

Besides, the law enforcement agencies can suo-motto register a FIR in case they find that forged documents have been submitted for obtaining mobile SIM under relevant provisions of IPC.