New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday set up an expert panel to recommend within three months the procedure for telecom firms for properly identifying customers before issuing SIM cards to them so that they are not misused by anti-social elements.
In view of divergent views of the government and telecom regulator 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 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.