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New Telecom Act: Telecom rules will change from June 26, a fine of Rs 50,000 will be imposed if more than 9 SIM cards are issued from one Aadhaar card

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New Delhi. The Telecommunication Act 2023 will be implemented from June 26. This Act was passed by Parliament in December last year. In the new Telecom Act, if more than 9 SIM cards have been issued from the Aadhaar card of a user, then a fine of Rs 50,000 can be imposed for the first mistake and a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh for repeating the mistake.

Telecom Secretary Neeraj Mittal has said that the new rule will replace the 150-year-old Telegraph Act. The new law will repeal the existing legislative framework such as the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act, 1933 due to technical advancement in the telecom sector and technology. According to the Gazette notification, provisions of several sections 1, 2, 10 to 30, 42 to 44, 46, 47, 50 to 58, 61 and 62 of the new Act will be applicable.

Let us tell you that right now the central government has decided to implement only some sections of this Telecom Act. These sections will be implemented keeping in mind the security of mobile and broadband users etc. At the same time, sections related to spectrum allocation, satellite service etc. will not be implemented right now.

Key points of the new Telecom Act

Many such provisions have been made in the new Telecom Act for mobile users, so that the user’s ID and SIM card cannot be misused. The new Telecom Act has a provision of heavy penalty on the person or organization who misuses the SIM card and user’s identity. Also, the guilty can also be sentenced to jail. If someone uses the user’s ID to buy a SIM card in a fraudulent manner, then he can have to face a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh or both jail and fine can be imposed. This also includes SIM card spoofing i.e. hiding one’s identity from the receiver.

Under the new Act, telecom companies will have to verify the identity of the user only through biometric based identification (linked to Aadhar card). This rule will prevent criminals from getting SIM cards issued by misusing the user’s voter ID or driving license.

In the new rule, telecom companies will have to get the consent form filled by the user to receive advertising messages or specified messages before taking the connection. Apart from this, telecom companies will have to give the user the option to register for DND (Do-Not-Disturb) service. Also, the user should get the option to report the message or virus. Apart from this, telecom operators will have to set up an online mechanism for users to register grievances or complaints.

The central government will be able to allocate spectrum to any telecom company only through auction. However, there are some exceptions to this, which include national security and defense research work, disaster management, weather forecasting, transport, satellite services such as DTH and satellite telephony, BSNL, MTNL, public broadcasting service, etc. Allocation of spectrum for these can be done on administrative basis.

The Chairman of TRAI can only be appointed if he has at least 30 years of professional experience and 25 years of professional experience as a member. Keeping in mind the matters of national security, telecom companies will have to procure their equipment only from trusted sources identified by the government.

Providing telecom service without permission or accessing telecom network or data without permission, call tapping etc. will be considered a crime. For this, a rigorous punishment of three years and a fine of up to Rs 2 crore can be imposed. There is a provision for imposing civil penalty for violating the rules, in which a fine of up to Rs 5 crore can be imposed.

International calls made through custom-built SIM boxes, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunk call devices and Primary Rate Interface Devices (PRI) will be considered illegal. Helping terrorists by making international calls will also be a crime. Under the new rule, this will be considered an unauthorized cellular network, for which a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh can be imposed.