comscore Submitting fake docs, ID for buying SIM card could lead to imprisonment, 50k fine

Giving fake identity for SIM, WhatsApp, Telegram will lead to jail time and 50k fine: Govt

This has been defined as a cognisable offense, hence police can make an arrest without a warrant and start the probe without the court's permission.


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The Government of India has announced a few stringent rules for people who submit fake identities and documents on OTT or while buying SIMs. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced a few provisions in the recently released draft Telecommunications Bill. Also Read - WhatsApp phone numbers of 500 mn users leaked online: Report

It says people who submit give fake documents to get mobile SIM cards or fake IDs on OTT platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Signal may have to face one year of jail and will be charged with Rs 50,000 fine. These provisions have come to combat online financial fraud or other illegal activities. Also Read - WhatsApp is rolling out contact cards sharing on Windows beta

According to the government, these laws will help fight off cyber frauds through telecom services. The draft bill also requires telecom users to disclose the identity of such people and their location in sub-section 7 of Section 4. Also Read - Marvel's The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar

The bill states that if a customer using a telecom service has given false documents, they can face up to one year of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 50,000 or their telecom service will be suspended. All three punishments can also be given. Notably, this has been defined as a cognisable offense hence police can make an arrest without a warrant and start the probe without the court’s permission.

OTT platforms are advised to complete the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) for the users. This is done so that all the customers know basic things about the caller. DoT has sent a reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, asking to use a mechanism where the name of the caller flashes on the screen when a call comes. For this, they will need KYC.

“The new Bill will tackle the situation of cyber fraud head-on and address it upfront in not just one, but multiple dimensions. The obligation of KYC, ensuring duties on the users, including various modes of calls, in the draft telecom Bill, and I strongly believe that with the implementation of this Bill, we can make a significant reduction in cyber fraud.”, said Communications Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw in a statement.

  • Published Date: September 29, 2022 3:26 PM IST
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