New Delhi: Taking a serious note of some
telecom companies and private detective agencies operating
unauthorised interception of telephone calls, the government
today said such companies or agencies indulging in these
practices will be booked and punished as per the provisions of
Indian Telegraph Act.
In a written statement, the Department of Telecom today
issued a statement saying the power of interception of
telegraph messages in the interest of the soverignity and
integrity of India.
"It has come to the notice that some persons, companies,
including Public Sector Undertakings, private vendors and
private detective agencies are establishing, maintaining or
operating unauthorized communications network, including
wireless network for unauthorized monitoring, intercepting and
surveillance of communications, and some time are importing
these equipments for demonstration purpose to Law Enforcing
Agencies (LEAs) for short duration," the statement said.
"Such type of acts violate the Indian Telegraph Act,
1885 and Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and persons or
companies involved in such types of acts are liable to
punishment as per provision of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and
Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933," it added.
This act gives powers to the government to seize the
equipment and also carries a punishment for maximum of three
years with a fine of Rs 1,000.
The statement said that under the law, no equipment or
sub-system can be used for unauthorised communication network,
monitoring, intercepting and surveillance of communication.
"The persons and companies who imported, procured or
possess the equipments or sub-systems capable of monitoring,
intercepting and surveillance of communication are directed
to inform the details of such equipments within 60 days to the
respective Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM)
Cells of Department of Telecommunications (DoT)," the
The information about persons or companies who possess,
have imported or procured or assembled or manufactured the
equipments or sub-systems having capabilities of monitoring,
intercepting and surveillance of communication is also being
independently compiled by the government through its own
sources, the government warned.
It said the persons or companies who will not be filing
information within 60 days of publication or indulge in
suppressing the facts will render them liable for prosecution
under the law.
The moves comes in the wake of leak of tapped telephone
tapes of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, which has indicated
hand of a prominent telecom company in circulating the
conversation in public domain.
Sources in the government claimed that the probe so far
had indicated that a mirror image of the entire conversation
was stored in the data bank of the telecom company, where the
tapping was done on the instructions of the government.
The tapping was done at the request of the Income Tax
department after taking sanction from the competent
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) was probing into
alleged leak of tapes of telephone conversations between
corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and politicians, journalists and