India is set to implement a new communication law today. The Narendra Modi administration passed this law last year, and it will go into effect on June 26, 2024.

 

Law Details
Name Telecommunications Act, 2023
Effective Date June 26, 2024
Replaces Indian Telegraph Act (1885) and Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act (1933)

 

Major Provisions

National Security and Control:

  • The new law allows the government to take control and manage any or all telecommunications services or networks in the interest of national security, friendly relations with foreign states, or during a state of war.

 

 

SIM Card Limits:

  • Citizens are allowed to register a maximum of nine SIM cards in their name, while residents of Jammu and Kashmir or the Northeast can have up to six SIM cards.
  • Exceeding this limit will incur a fine of ₹50,000 for the first violation and ₹2 lakh for subsequent violations.

 

Penalties for Misuse:

  • Obtaining a SIM card using another person’s identity documents can lead to up to three years in prison, a fine of up to ₹50 lakh, or both.

 

Control on Commercial Messages:

  • Telecom operators could face fines up to ₹2 lakh for sending commercial messages without user consent and may be prohibited from providing services.

 

Permission for Infrastructure:

  • The government can permit telecom companies to install mobile towers or lay telecom cables on private properties, even against the landowner’s will, if deemed necessary.

 

Security and Emergency Provisions:

  • In scenarios where national security is at risk or during emergencies, the government has the power to block and control the transmission of messages and call interactions.

 

Exemption for Journalists:

  • Messages sent by state and centrally recognized journalists are exempt from surveillance. However, if their news reports are perceived as potential threats to national security, their calls and messages can be monitored and blocked.

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