Forged papers for mobile connection to attract police action

Taking new mobile phone connection from today will require physical verification of facts provided by subscribers and submission of forged documents will lead to police inquiry.

Tougher guidelines by the Department of Telecom, which took effect today, make operators responsible for inaccurate information provided by subscribers for taking new pre-paid and post-paid mobile connections.

Under the new rules, the authorised person selling SIM cards will have to give an undertaking that he has seen the applicant and matched the photograph attached on the application form.

Retailers and franchisees selling mobile SIM cards will have to register police complaint against subscribers if they submit forged documents to get the connections.

All the telecom operators across the country are required to comply with the new guidelines.

"By and large we are compliant with most of the norms though there are a few areas for which we have sought clarifications from DoT like verification of date of birth and age," GSM industry body COAI director general Rajan S Mathews told PTI.

He said the government has indicated that the operators have to verify certain documents which include date of birth and age of users.

"We have asked DoT what should we do in case if the user has no documents related to his date of birth," he said.

COAI is expecting a reply on the issues in the next few days.

According to the guidelines, "In cases where forged documents are submitted by the subscriber and originals are also forged, police complaint or FIR shall be lodged by the PoS (Point of Sale) or franchisee against the subscriber within 15 days of bringing it to the notice of licensee (telecom operator)."

The retailer will have to sign, authenticating that the documents submitted by the customer have been verified with original copies of proof of address and identity.

The guidelines also make it mandatory for the licensee to sign the form prior to the activation of SIM card, certifying that the information provided on the form is correct.

Telecom operators will also have to file First Information Report (FIR) against the franchisee or SIM seller if the SIM is sold against documents of any other subscriber or person without the owner of the document having any knowledge of it.

Further, legal action will be taken against telecom operators for failing to act against the errant sellers and subscribers.

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