New DoT rules likely to check cell phone IMEI numbers

In a major step ahead in the telecom world, officials of the the department of telecommunication (DoT) said that unlike what it had been before, ahead of buying your new mobile phone now, you can ascertain if all the legalities have been adhered to in manufacturing it.

Officials said that it could be done with the help of the International Mobile Equipment Identity of IMEI number of that cell phone. A senior official of the telecom security wing of DoT said that it would be now possible by messaging the IMEI number of the new phone through another phone or through a smartphone app. “Before buying a mobile it is absolutely inevitable to check its legitimacy. And not only in case of a new phone, existing consumer s should also have a full knowledge about the phone,” he said.

Telecom service providers have been instructed to spread the message through SMS to their consumers in Kolkata and West Bengal circle.

DoT sources said that the awareness was being spread because it had been noticed that in many cases, a legitimate IMEI number was being used in illegally manufactured or stolen mobile phones. According to the norms of DoT, use of IMEI number illegally and using a phone knowing that it has a duplicate IMEI number, are both criminal offence and both the seller and consumer are liable to be booked for that.

Officials also said that many a times, buyers walk into the trap trying to buy a mobile phone at a cheap rate. Authorities are mulling to make it mandatory for buyers to check the IMEI number of the phone they are about to buy so that there would not be any loophole in the law with which the buyer would later feign ignorance about it to escape prosecution.

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