Staff Report ISD: Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has been directed by the honorable Lahore High Court (LHC) to probe the fraudulent practice of issuance of SIM cards in the name of person who does not consent it.
Waheed Shahzad, a tax lawyer by profession had earlier taken the matter of illegal SIM Issuance on his CNIC to the LHC.
Waheed Shahzad stated in his petition “In response to news published in various newspapers regarding illegal and unauthorised SIM cards issued by various mobile Phone companies/operators, the citizens/consumers were invited to check the status of their SIMS information through SMS on “668”. The Petitioner also gets his status verified then to his shock, website was showing quite alarming position i.e. various mobile SIM cards appears to have been issued against the CNIC of the Petitioner.
He further added “Act of mobile phone company clearly falls under the criminal negligence, intentional ignorance of rules and regulations governing cell phone usage, solely to earn money at the cost of Security and Sovereignty of Pakistan, therefore, the same fully falls under the jurisdiction of PTA to question the illegal business of mobile phone company by cheating the consumer/citizen of Pakistan. By issuing illegal SIM cards, mobile phone company is equally responsible for all terrorist activities where cell phone service has been used by terrorists. SOP issued by PTA bluntly speaks the truth that mobile phone operator is clearly involved in the business of issuing mobile SIM cards illegally.
The act of mobile SIM issuance by network operatorsthis way is a serious breach of patent rights and is illegal. PTA had earlier launched SIM Information service through which any citizen of Pakistan can get information about number of registered SIMs against his CNIC by sending an SMS to “668.”
The LHC in return has laid down stern directions to PTA to investigate and probe the matter of illegal SIM Issuance and impose hefty penalties to telecom network operator companies so to shun the malpractice that can have negative implications in many aspects including law and order.