'Form panel to look into SIM cards verification'

'Form panel to look into SIM cards verification'

The Supreme Court on Friday issued an order for the formation of an expert committee to lay down guidelines and procedure for physical verification of identity of the mobile phone subscribers before issuing them SIM cards.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia ordered that the joint expert panel should comprise of two officials each from Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and would be headed by Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

“The Government of India and Trai, both, have to attain this delicate balance of interests by providing relevant instructions or guidelines in a timely manner and ensuring    their implementation in accordance with law,” the court said, adding that the committee should sort out the differences between DoT and Trai.

The bench also directed such a panel to submit its report within 3 months.

The court’s order came on a PIL filed by Kolkata-based Avishek Goenka, who sought direction for framing of norms, contending that there was rampant flouting of concerns regarding national security, by the service providers, while selling - prepaid mobile connections.

Referring to different serial blasts in Mumbai and Delhi, he submitted that these explosions were carried out by the accused after obtaining SIM cards on fake identity proof.

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