Telecom operators have to pay Rs 2,513.44 crore as penalty for violating customer verification norms as on September 30 this year, the Lok Sabha. “As on September 30, 2015, a total penalty imposed on different telecom service providers (TSPs) for violation of CAF (customer acquisition form) verification norms is approximately Rs 2,513.44 crore,” IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
The telecom operators are supposed to carry out a customer verification process before giving any new connection to a customer. In this regard, a customer acquisition form is supposed to be filled with customer’s identity proofs. In order to check adherence to the DoT instructions by all operators, the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells carry out a sample verification of the CAF and related documents of the customers by all operators on a monthly basis.
It also generates random samples of 0.1 per cent of customer base at the end of each month and cross-verify the same against entries in the database submitted by telcos.
However, the minister pointed out that “the verification process by TERM Cells brings out non-compliant cases where DoT guidelines were violated by TSPs in acquiring the customer which may include cases where identities of subscribers are not properly verified.”
Out of the total 6.87 crore CAFs audited, 39.04 lakh CAFs were found non-compliant by TERM Cells during the verification process as on September this year.
“For all cases on non-compliant CAFs, TERM Cells have taken actions which include imposition of penalty and filing of complaints or FIR against apparently forged cases,” Prasad said.
The telecom service provider has to disconnect the connection or submit the complaint CAF to TERM Cells within 72 hours.