Head honchos of mobile companies operating in J&K will face prosecution if security agencies detect terrorists using mobile phones obtained due to lax verification by phone companies or their franchisees, a senior home ministry official said in Delhi on Tuesday.
Home Secretary GK Pillai had conveyed the warning to chiefs of mobile companies operating in J&K at his meeting this week. Chief executive officers and managing directors of Aircel, Bharti Airtel, RCom, Idea, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone and BSNL — attended the meeting.
Strict verification procedures laid down by the department of telecommunications in January this year were found to have been violated in up to 50 per cent cases during a verification audit conducted by the Department of Telecommunications.
Home Ministry officials said Pillai had also made it clear that CEOs of companies and franchisees could henceforth get criminal cases slapped against them if the company was found to have issued a mobile number to a terrorist without carrying out the verification process diligently.
“We have also told the mobile companies to cancel licenses of their franchisees who failed the verification audit,” the official said on Tuesday. “Franchisees must get the message that fraudulently verifying subscribers could create problems for them too,” the official added.
The phone companies have one week to report compliance to the government.
The security establishment had last year withdrawn permission for pre-paid mobiles in J&K in view of large number of cases where phones were fraudulently issued in name of people without their knowledge.