Sim in Nepal has come to a very sensitive issue as there are rising issues around reusing and selling SIM cards in Nepal without any pre-information causing and invading users’ privacy. Recently a petition is filed regarding such issues. Let’s get into it.
Supreme court orders against telecommunication service providers
Telecommunication service providers such as NTC and Ncell have been reusing and selling SIM cards in Nepal that is inactive for 6 months. Whereas the Supreme Court issues an interim order to these service providers for going against it.
Sapna Bhandari submitted a writ petition to the Nepal Government Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Nepal Telecom, and Ncell Aziata on Poush 8. On Thursday, a single bench of Judge Sushmalata Mathema issued a show cause order in the name of the opposition.
She claims that the act of reusing and selling SIM cards in Nepal without information is contrary to the fundamental right to privacy as well as the guidelines of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority. The petitioner has immediately demanded that any telecommunications service provider not resell/distribute unused SIM cards for one year.
She also claims that service provider such as Ncell and Ntc is currently reusing and distributing SIMs that have been inactive for 6 months. The petitioner demands an order to sell/distribute SIMs only after providing information to customers after 6 months of SIM cancellation.
She mentions the fundamental right of the Nepalese people, granted by the right to privacy under Article 28 of the Constitution of Nepal 2072. The right has been violated and no other alternative remedies are available to protect it.
She also states:
“There is a situation where SIM is used even for very sensitive matters like PAN, passport, and voter identity. The SIM that we use is provided with a unique number, from which the user uses the same number for the various purposes mentioned above. This could include users opening an account, receiving information about banks and other businesses, and receiving OTP (One Time Password). They depend on SIM to do it. When the telecommunication service providers put the SIMs inactive for 6 months and bring them back for sale and distribution, the rights and interests of the citizens are affected”
About the issue on sale of old sims:
Nepal Telecommunication Authority arranged for the service provider can deactivate unused SIM cards for 6 months on 2nd Chait, 2071. In August 2077, the Authority issued a consolidated statement of the instructions issued to the service providers related to consumers. The SIM card sold and distributed by the telecommunication service providers should be updated by issuing a notification for re-registration if it has not been used for 6 months. It mentions that action should be taken toward the cancellation and removal of the SIM notification.
Also, do comment with your thoughts below on the reusing of old sim cards in Nepal by different telecoms such as Ncell, NTC, and more.