Govt Slaps Rs 2313 Cr Fine On Telcos For Violating Verification Norms; BSNL Tops The Chart Of Rule-Breakers
Verification of telecom subscribers is a serious issue, and TRAI has repeatedly informed all telecom companies that unless the user is verified, the concerned SIM card cannot be activated.
However, despite stringent regulations, telecom companies continue to break rules, which would be no longer be taken lightly.
Govt. has informed that till May 31, 2016, total of Rs 2313.05 crore fine has been imposed on various telecom firms for violating subscriber verification norms. New Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha informed the Lok Sabha regarding this data while answering a question.
Ironically, state run BSNL has emerged as the top rule breaker when it comes to verification of telecom users. Fine of Rs 583.09 crore was imposed on BSNL till May 31, 2016.
Telecom Minister said, “For all cases of non-compliant CAFs (Customer Acquisition Form), TERM Cells have taken actions which include imposition of penalty on non-compliant CAFs and filing of complaints/FIRs against apparently forged cases as per guidelines issued from time to time,”
TERM Cell stands for Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring Cell, which was earlier known as VTM Cell.
Here is the breakdown of the penalties levied on various telecom firms for breaking the verification rules:
- BSNL: Rs 583.09 crore
- Reliance Communications: Rs 377.51 crore
- Tata Teleservices: Rs 328.15 crore
- Airtel: Rs 300.34 crore
- Vodafone: Rs 285.62 crore
- Idea Cellular: Rs 218.04 crore
- Aircel: Rs 108.82 crore
- MTS: Rs 53.14 crore
All other penalties were under Rs 20 crore.
In case of serious crime like kidnapping or terrorist activities, an active mobile connection proves to be a lethal weapon of destruction. Using SIM Cards with fake identities, anti-social elements can create havoc and destruction all around.
Last year, a gang was busted in Mumbai which managed to stay clear of police for 2 years, only because of using SIM Cards from UP. These SIM cards were issued without any verification, and the gang members exploited them to the full.
Militants in Meghalaya are spreading terror and fear using using pre-activated SIM cards Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura which confuses the investigation authorities and evade their arrests.
Last year, Delhi Police had asked TRAI to impose fine of Rs 1 crore on telecom operators for approving SIM Cards without verification. Delhi Police is aware how dangerous and lethal such SIM Cards can be.