DoT proposes Rs 2 cr penalty on illegal phone taps
New Delhi: Aiming to strengthen the framework for checking unlawful interception of phones, the Department of Telecom has suggested a steep rise in fine for illegal phone tapping to Rs 2 crore, from Rs 1 lakh at present.
In its comments on the proposed Right to Privacy Bill that is being drafted by the government, DoT has said: "In Section 51, financial penalty for unauthorised interception of communication may be increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 crore."
In the recent past, there have been instances of private detectives tapping phones illegally on behest of their clients, the latest being BJP leader Arun Jaitley?s phone tapping case.
DoT said such a fine is required as the government had informed Parliament that the penalty on concerned section (related with unauthorised interception) of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 will be increased to Rs 2 crore.
The agencies allowed to tap phones include CBI, IB, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). These agencies are authorised to tap phone conversations in their investigations and surveillance actions.
However, there are many private detective agencies, which illegally intercepts phones to garner information for their clients.