LHC directs PTA chief to investigate illegal issuance of SIMs



By Sarmad Ali

Islamabad (Pak Ddestiny) While upto 3 million unverified SIMs are set to blocked today the by High Court (LHC) has issued directions to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority chairman Dr Ismail Shah to investigate the matter of issuance of mobile SIM cards illegally without the knowledge and consent of citizen of Pakistan.

Directions have been issued by the LHC to the Chairman PTA to investigate the matter of issuance of mobile SIM cards illegally without any knowledge any permission of the citizen against whom CNIC various SIM cards have been issued by some mobile phone company.

Sources told this correspondent that a citizen of Pakistan Waheed Shahzad had challenged the matter of issuance of illegal SIM cards by misusing his CNIC. In his petition before LHC the petition states “the petitioner questioned the working of PTA and Ministry of Information, Technology & Telecommunication specifically criminal silence/negligence at the part of PTA for not taking any action against Cellular phone company responsible for illegal issuance of mobile phone SIM by misusing the CNIC of the Petitioner as well as citizens of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Petitioner further stated “in response to news published in various newspapers regarding illegal and unauthorized SIM cards/mobile connection issued by various mobile/Cell Phone companies/operators, the citizens/consumers were invited to check the status of their SIMS information collected through SMS on “668” and as cross verified from http://www.pta.gov.pk The Petitioner also get his status verified then to his shock, website was showing quite alarming position i.e. various mobile SIM cards appears to have been issued against the CNIC of the Petitioner.

The act of mobile phone company is patently illegal and against those consumers’ protection measures for which they have given undertaking to the PTA at the time of getting license to business at this local land, the same is even highly dangerous for the purposes of security measures of the innocent/noble/peaceful consumers/citizens of Pakistan. It is obvious that the innocent citizens are being silently made culprits illegally without their knowledge and remained ignorant in the past until the PTA introduced “668” option to check the black and white of mobile phone companies. It is pertinent to mention here that the “668” option was introduced as a result of various complaints received by the concerned ministry and PTA that hundreds of thousands CNIC were misused by issuing secret/illegal SIMS which are still active / used by some unknown subscribers but the owner does not know the number or details of illegal SIMs issued in the name of innocent citizens without their knowledge and consent.

Petitioner further added “act of mobile phone company clearly falls under the criminal negligence, intentional ignorance of rules and regulations governing cell phone usage, solely to earn money at the cost of Security and Sovereignty of Pakistan, therefore, the same fully falls under the jurisdiction of PTA to question the illegal business of mobile phone company by cheating the consumer/citizen of Pakistan. By issuing illegal SIM cards, mobile phone company is equally responsible for all terrorist activities where cell phone service has been used by terrorists. SOP issued by PTA bluntly speaks the truth that mobile phone operator is clearly involved in the business of issuing mobile SIM cards illegally.  The criminal negligence at the part of mobile phone company to issue mobile phone SIMs illegally cannot be questioned by any authority except PTA but they are not willing to accept their legal obligations.

There is strong possibility that to avoid the payment of Billions of rupees on account of taxes to the National Exchequer, the mobile phone companies have started sale of unregistered SIMs. The PTA and mobile phone companies be charged as abettor in all criminal incidents wherein non-registered/illegally issued SIMs are being used for commission of offence. There were so many incidents when the innocent citizens of Pakistan were harassed and threatened through mobile telecommunication services, provided directly or indirectly by the mobile phone companies without any check and balance at the part of PTA while the PTA failed to provide any information about any such person who committed such offence by taking the plea of secrecy and confidentiality whereas there is no concept of confidentiality or secrecy in the telecommunication laws about name and address of any user. The PTA is involved in sheer violation of rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan: Petitioner added.

Petitioner has prayed to the LHC “to direct the PTA to produce the Government policy on the sale of SIMs and fate of illegal SIMs issued criminally without the consent and knowledge of innocents citizens where their CNIC have been misused. To take strict lawful action against the PTA for not initiating criminal proceedings against the mobile phone company for issuing SIMs on the name of the Petitioner without petitioner’s knowledge and consent. To direct the NAB/FIA authorities to investigate the serious matter of cheating with the Pakistan’s security by issuing mobile phone SIMs to unknown aliens by misusing CNIC of innocent citizens of Pakistan. To direct the PTA to impose lawful penalty/fine to the mobile phone company for acting illegally to issue the mobile SIM cards without lawful authority and written consent/permission of the petitioner: Petitioner added. Pak Destiny

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