A bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia set up the joint committee headed by the telecom secretary to resolve the issue so that the DoT can issue the instructions within 15 weeks
New Delhi: The Supreme Court set up an expert panel to recommend within three months the procedure for telecom firms for properly identifying customers before issuing SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards to them so that they are not misused by anti-social elements, reports PTI.
In view of divergent views of the government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on many issues including on maintaining database of the subscribers, a bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia set up their joint committee headed by the telecom secretary to resolve the issue so that the DoT can issue the instructions within 15 weeks.
“We hereby direct the constitution of a joint expert committee consisting of two experts from TRAI and two experts from DoT to be chaired by the secretary, ministry of communications and information technology,” the bench, also comprising justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said.
The bench passed the order on a plea by one Avishek Goenka seeking a direction to the government to frame guidelines for telecom firms for issuing SIM cards.
The bench, however, refused to pass any guidelines saying that it has to be decided by the expert committee as the judiciary has no technical know-how on the issue.
“Some divergence on certain specific issues of the regulatory regime has been projected in the instructions and comments filed by TRAI and DoT. They need to be resolved but in absence of any technical knowhow or expertise being available with this court, it will not be appropriate to decide, by a judicial dictum, as to which of the views expressed by these high powered bodies would be more beneficial to the regulatory regime and will prove more effective in advancing the public interest,” the bench said.
Mr Goenka had alleged that the verification norms were necessary in view of the recent probe in terror attacks pointing towards the use of mobile phones the connections for which were given on the basis of fake documents. He had pointed out that both in Mumbai and Delhi blasts, the probe had reached to the conclusion that the cellular phones used by the accused were operating with SIM cards, secured on the basis of bogus documents.
“Banks are advised that KYC once done by one branch of the bank should be valid for transfer of the account within the bank as long as full KYC has been done for the concerned account,” RBI said in a notification
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to allow intra-bank account portability in cases where full KYC (know your customer) details of the concerned account have been ascertained, reports PTI.
The facility would enable the customers to shift their account to any of the desired branch any number of times, without any change in the account number.
“Banks are advised that KYC once done by one branch of the bank should be valid for transfer of the account within the bank as long as full KYC has been done for the concerned account,” RBI said in a notification.
The customer should be allowed to transfer his account from one branch to another branch without restrictions, it said.
In order to comply with KYC requirements of correct address of the person, fresh address proof may be obtained upon such transfer by the transferee branch, it said.
RBI said: “It has been brought to our notice that some banks are insisting on opening of fresh accounts by customers when customers approach them for transferring their account from one branch of the bank to another branch of the same bank. Such insistence on opening of fresh account or making the customer undergo full KYC process again causes inconvenience to them resulting in poor customer service,” it said.
“It is not reasonable in view of the fact that most bank branches are now on Core Banking Service (CBS) and KYC records of a particular customer can be accessed by any branch of the bank,” it said.
Samatol Foundation saves children from straying into crime and tries to send them back to their homes
Mumbai, the land of opportunities, attracts many in search of employment and glamour. Among them are innocent children, who run away from home and dream of making it big. Unfortunately, their dreams are short-lived and often, a railway station is all they find as a resting place. Often they become victims of drug trafficking and sexual abuse.
To give a fresh lease of life to these abused children, Samatol Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), was founded by Vijay Jadhav in 2006. Its objective is to rehabilitate children who are five years old and above from railway stations and unite them with their families. ‘Samatol’ means ‘balance’. Samatol tries to restore respectability and thereby create balance in the society,” explains Mr Jadhav, who gave up his job to devote time for social work. Samatol Foundation started its work by raising awareness on the importance of rescuing and rehabilitating children found on railway platforms. It required sensitising all the stakeholders, like railway police, passengers and railway’s accident helpers. “Accident hamals (helpers) were our first active volunteers as they were quick to identify newly arrived kids and those who have returned,” says Mr Jadhav.
Samatol’s activities involve rescuing newly arrived children before they become part of the other kids already settled on the platform. After a detailed background check of the new arrivals, Samatol’s volunteers convince them to return home.
The Foundation also conducts manaparivartan shibir (attitude change programme) a de-addiction and home-orientation programme for children who often work as shoeshine boys. Drug de-addiction forms an important and difficult part of the rehabilitation.
“The 45-day programme addresses about 25 kids in the 8-16 years age group. They are physically examined and also counselled against drug addiction. We try to instil discipline in them and work on their self-esteem. We try to create an interest in education and concern for family in them. If the child is ready to go back home, we send him back considering his family’s financial position. In some cases, they are rehabilitated with other NGOs and are given education and vocational training,” explains Mr Jadhav.
The Foundation conducts training programmes by experts on child psychology for police and government officials. It also conducts a survey of railway stations every two years.
Samatol also helps in rehabilitation of kids at government observation/remand homes, who are willing to go back to their homes. Accordingly, legal formalities are completed at the Foundation’s expense. Since inception, Samatol has reunited around 3,000 children with their families. It has contacted about 7,000 children in six years. It has a large volunteer base, comprising professionals like doctors, engineers and IAS officers throughout the country who assist the organisation in case of children sent back home. They follow up on the cases so that the children do not run away again.
Samatol funds its activities mainly through individual donations. Mr Jadhav says, “We seek help from individuals and thereby sensitise them to the problem. We don’t touch any foreign funding. Corporate donations are allowed partly; we never take funding from one company for an entire project. This allows us freedom to work.” One can volunteer for Samatol Foundation and also donate. All donations are eligible for tax exemption under Section 80(G) of the Income-Tax Act.
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