Ensure 100 % Verification Of Cell Phone Subscribers: SC [Read Petition]

Ensure 100 % Verification Of Cell Phone Subscribers: SC [Read Petition]

The Union government was today asked by the Supreme Court to ensure 100 % verification of mobile phone subscribers with regard to their identity, their addresses and ensuring that no fake or unverified identities should be accepted while issuing SIM cards.

“You should start process to ensure 100 % identification. Tell us how do we start it? You have the best of experts. Put in place a process by which mobile subscribers are subjected to scrutiny as to ensure appropriate identification”, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar told Centre’s lawyer and gave it four weeks time to explore it and report back to the court.

PIL said terrorists, criminals and anti-social elements routinely use SIM cards obtained on the basis of forged/stolen ID documents to commit heinous crimes like kidnappings, extortion and other organized crimes in all parts of the country

“The present writ petition has been filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India in the nature of a public interest litigation to seek directions for ensuring 100% verification of the mobile phone subscribers with regard to their identity, their addresses and ensuring that no fake or unverified identities should be accepted for subscription of mobile phones, and also that the Aadhaar Card or such other biometric identification may be made compulsory for verification of the mobile phone subscribers that can ensure 100% verification”, it said.

“These directions are being sought in view of the fact that even as of today about 5.25 crore mobile phone subscribers (about 5% of the total) are unverified, in spite of in spite of directions given by this Hon’ble Court earlier in the case of Avishek Goenka v. Union of India, (2012) 5 SCC 275, and in spite of various instructions issued by the DoT itself from time to time to ensure 100% mobile phone subscriber verification. It is submitted that unverified SIM cards pose a serious threat to country’s security as they are routinely used in criminal and terrorist activities, thereby affecting the citizens’ right under Article 21 of the Constitution”, added the PIL.

PRAYERS

1) The mobile phone subscriber verification guidelines be appropriately modified to ensure that in actual practice there is 100% verification of the subscribers, their identity, their addresses, and that no fake or unverified identities should be accepted for subscription of mobile phones, and that existing mobile phone subscribers be re-verified in such a manner as to leave no unverified subscriber

2) The Aadhar Card or such other biometric identification may be made compulsory for verification of the mobile phone subscribers that can ensure 100% verification

3) Till such time as the aforesaid mobile phone subscriber verification guidelines are not appropriately modified by the competent authority, this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue binding guidelines to ensure that there is 100% verification of the subscribers, their identity, their addresses, including on the basis of a mandatory Aadhaar number or other appropriate biometric identity, and that no fake or unverified identities should be accepted for subscription of mobile phones

Read the petition here.


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