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Drive to throw out Chinese Mobile without IMEI number

The Government had banned use of all handsets without the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number See Letter of Dot dt. 3rd September, 2009. IMEI is a unique 15-digit code that identifies a mobile. It prevents the use of stolen handsets for making calls and allows security agencies to track down a specific user. However, a majority of handsets sold in the grey market do not come with the IMEI, which has been of concern for security agencies. However, the Govt. of India taking concerns of genuine innocent mobile users without valid IMEI numbers mooted a Genuine IMEI Implant (GII) proposal. Such innocent users with valid identifying documents like driving license, passports etc. can visit 1600 such Government approved GII centres and get valid IMEI number implanted on their mobile phones by paying a nominal fee. However, some unscrupulous traders were themselves without authorization engaged in implanting fake IMEI numbers on Chinese mobile phones by using imported software from China known as “Spiderman Software Box” which had very serious ramifications for the national security and would render the entire GII drive as useless. The Crime Branch of Delhi Police acting on the complaint of the Indian Cellular Association have conducted raid on December 9, 2009 at in the Karol Bagh Electronics market and arrested 23 mobile vendors who were found selling banned Chinese mobile phones implanted with fake IMEI number using the “Spiderman Software Box”. The implantation of fake IMEI number in the mobile phone attracts the penal provision of Section 420, 468 read with Section 471 Indian Penal Code, as the mobile vendors are cheating the gullible customers by passing them banned mobile phones with fake IMEI numbers as genuine one and part with their hard earned money. Further, they for the purpose of cheating commit forgery of the IMEI number which is an electronic record and thus attracts Section 468 IPC and by showing the mobile having fake IMEI number as genuine one, when they have reasons to believe that the same are forged one, the section 471 IPC is also attracted. The Delhi police have rightly imposed these sections of Indian Penal Code on these unscrupulous vendors of banned Chinese mobile phones which are cognizable and non-bailable and have shown non- compromising attitude of the Government of India as far as national security is concerned.

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