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Data leak case: Government fines Vodafone Idea Rs 27 lakhs

Rajasthan government imposed a fine of Rs 27 lakh on telecom company Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) on Monday for a data leak in its first case under the IT Act 2000. As per IANS officials, this is the first case filed under the Act, and for the first time, an adjudicating officer has ordered a telecom player to pay the penalty amount to the victim within the stipulated period, otherwise interest will be charged.

According to official sources, the SIM card of one customer was damaged, and he requested a duplicate. However, a SIM card was issued to another customer without any verification by the telecom company, and this individual managed to withdraw Rs 68 lakh from the first customer’s account, as the mobile SIM was connected to his overdraft facility.

After five days, the victim was able to access his SIM and then came the messages of money withdrawal from his bank account. The customer came forward with a complaint and requested compensation, pursuant to the IT Act, from the company.

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The incident occurred in 2020, according to official sources. The accused were tracked down in Alwar and arrested after a police case was filed. Of the Rs 68 lakh, around Rs 44 lakh was returned to the customer. Since the remaining amount was pending, the customer filed a complaint under the IT Act.

Alok Gupta, Principal Secretary, Information Technology and Communications, was the adjudicating officer who, on Monday, imposed a fine of Rs 27.23 lakh on Vodafone. It was ordered to pay the amount to the aggrieved party within a month, or it would have to pay 10 percent interest per year, officials said.


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