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DoT issues notice to Idea for alleged licence norm violation
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The government has issued a show- cause notice to Birlas-owned Idea Cellular for allegedly issuing 3,640 mobile phone connections to an entity that in turn rented out the SIM cards to individuals -a practice seen as a serious threat to national security.

"M/s Idea Cellular (ICL) has issued 3,640 bulk post-paid connections in the name of Sumit Khanna and his company M/s Limco Sales Corporation... on account of giving these connections for rental use," the DoT said in its notice.

When contacted, Idea Cellular Managing Director Sanjiv Agha said no such notice has been received from DoT and also denied any knowledge about Limco Sales Corporation.

Renting of SIM cards is not permitted, DoT said, asking the company to reply within 21 days of receipt of the notice.

According to the show-cause notice, it was noticed that Limco Sales Corp issued pre-activated SIM cards without verification of the customers which the department sees as going against the interest of national security.

"Such an act is a serious threat to the security of the nation," the DoT said. As per the licence, such violations can lead to cancellation of licence or penalty of up to Rs 50 crore.

Limco Sales Corporation has allegedly been collecting money directly from its 3,640 rental customers from May 2007 and 390 others from April 2008, as has been made out by the department from invoices raised by Limco.

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