The case pertains to one Bhanu Pratap, who was issued a duplicate SIM belonging to another person and transferred a total of Rs 68.5 lakh from IDBI bank to his other accounts. Later, he returned Rs 44 lakh but the victim is yet to receive the rest of the money. On May 25, 2017, Krishna Lal Nain’s Vodafone Idea mobile number stopped working. He went to the telecom company’s store in Hanumangarh and registered a complaint.
Though he got a new number, it remained inactivated despite repeated complaints. In Jaipur, he went to one of the company’s stores and again submitted a complaint for SIM activation, which happened the next day. By then, the culprit had transferred Rs 68.5 lakh from Nain’s IDBI Bank account using the OTPs generated.
Not only was the duplicate SIM card issued without proper verification of personal data, the delay in activation of the new SIM card and the transfer of money from the account during the period raised serious questions.
Provisions in the IT Act allow the department of IT and communication to ensure justice for people who have suffered losses due to laxity by telecom firms in carrying out due diligence before issuing SIM cards.
The order says that Vodafone Idea has to pay Rs 2.31lakh as interest and Rs 72,000 deposited by the applicant (Krishna Lal Nain) besides the loss money of Rs 24lakh. If the telecom company fails to pay the money within one month, 10% interest will be imposed. Vodafone Idea has the option to challenge the other in higher courts and tribunals.