If you have multiple SIM cards in your name, you will be fined Rs 2 lakh: How to check?

New telecommunications law and SIM card restrictions

The Telecommunications Act 2023 introduces new guidelines limiting the number of SIM cards a person can hold. The SIM card limit is nine per person across India, with a lower limit of six in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and the Northeast Licensing Service Area (LSA). Nittin Arora, partner at Grant Thornton Bharat, said exceeding these limits could result in severe penalties, including fines and possible jail time for fraudulent activities.

Consequences of exceeding SIM card limits

Starting from June 26, 2024, anyone found to be carrying more than the allowed number of SIM cards will face severe penalties. First-time offenders may be fined up to Rs 50,000, while repeat offenders may be fined up to Rs 2 lakh. If a SIM card is obtained fraudulently, the penalty may include imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh, or both. Keeping track of SIM cards registered in your name is crucial to avoid such penalties.

Check your SIM card using Sanchar Saathi portal

To prevent others from using your SIM card in your name, it is important to check your registered SIM card regularly. The Sanchar Saathi Portal is a government initiative that provides an easy way to verify this information. Here's how to use the portal:

Visit Sancharsati Portal

Navigate to the Sanchar Saathi portal.

Enter your mobile number

Enter your mobile number and complete the verification code. Click “Verify Verification Code”.

One-time password verification

A one-time password will be sent to your registered mobile number. Enter OTP to continue.

View registered connections

The portal will display the number of SIM cards registered in your name. You can choose to mark each number as Not My Number, Not Required, or Required.

Request to disconnect

If you find any number that doesn't belong to you or is no longer needed, select “Not My Number” or “Not Needed” to request a disconnect.

What to do if you have more than nine SIM cards

For users who had more than nine SIM cards before the implementation of the new regulations, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has provided instructions since December 7, 2021, requiring re-verification of existing mobile connections. You must hand over, transfer or disconnect any excess SIM cards to comply with the new rules. By taking these actions promptly, you can avoid penalties.

Complying with your SIM card's legal restrictions is critical to avoiding fines and legal issues. Regularly checking the number of SIM cards registered in your name through the Sanchar Saathi portal is a good practice to ensure compliance and prevent unauthorized use.

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