Keep an eye on bulk purchase of SIM cards: Delhi EC to telecos

Keep an eye on bulk purchase of SIM cards: Delhi EC to telecos

In an effort to check electoral malpractice, Delhi Election Commission has issued specific instructions to telecom operators to keep an eye on bulk purchase of SIM cards especially pre-paid ones.

In separate letters to the firms including Airtel, MTNL, Reliance, Vodafone and Idea, Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi Vijay Dev told them to "properly verify" all details and follow the laid-down norms before issuing any new connection to customers.

"Basically what happens during the electoral period is to avoid expenditure being counted, several party workers or candidates use unnamed SIM cards either for issuing bulk messages through those numbers or for using Internet services and social media through the mobile numbers so that they do not come under our expenditure calculation," Dev told PTI.

"That is why we have directed all mobile service providers to keep a strict vigil on bulk purchase of SIM cards especially the pre-paid ones," he said.

The Chief Electoral Officer held a couple of meetings with the telecom operators following which the directions have been issued.

The multiple objective of initiating such a step is to keep a check on the expenditure details of the candidates and to ensure that model code of conduct is not violated apart from ensuring a conducive atmosphere for free and fair election, he said.

Dev further informed that any "abnormal sale" of SIM cards in any area must be immediately reported to his office with required details such as name of the vendor and quantity of purchase.

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