The Rajasthan government’s IT Department has asked Vodafone Idea Ltd. to pay Rs 27,53,183 to one of its customers who lost Rs 68.5 lakh after the telecom company issued a duplicate SIM for his mobile number to another man without properly verifying documents.
The company has been given a month’s time to make the payment, according to the September 6 order issued by Alok Gupta, adjudicating officer and principal secretary, IT Department.
While the accused returned Rs 44 lakh to the complainant, Krishna Lal Nain, Rs 27.5 lakh remained unpaid.
“Vodafone Idea Ltd. is directed to deposit Rs 27,53,183 in the bank account of the applicant within one month otherwise compound interest with a rate of 10 per cent annually will be levied,” the order stated.
According to the order, Nain’s SIM card stopped working on May 25, 2017 and he contacted a Vodafone store in Hanumangarh. A new SIM card was issued to him the next day but it was activated on May 31.
Meanwhile, a duplicate SIM for Nain’s number was issued to Bhanu Pratap in Alwar. When Nain’s SIM was activated, he came to know through text messages that Rs 68.5 lakh had been withdrawn from his bank account using an OTP sent on his number.
An FIR was registered in the matter on June 2, 2017. Later, it became clear that a duplicate SIM card was issued by the telecom company.
The accused returned Rs 44 lakh to Nain.
In May 2020, Nain filed a complaint under the IT Act with the adjudicating officer, demanding Rs 34.50 lakh — the unpaid amount of Rs 24.5 lakh and the interest — from the company.
The adjudicating officer held Vodafone Idea Ltd. guilty and directed the company to pay the amount to the complainant.