The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended the temporary suspension of telecom services rules and said that such suspension of services can not be for more than 15 days. Other rules, such as the issuance of these orders by Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs or the Secretary of the state government’s home affairs department remain the same.
The DoT had, in 2017, come out with Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules in 2017, which were to be used by the central government, state government and districts in case of public emergencies and to ensure safety. The rules say that no government department, except the Ministry of Home Affairs or a state’s home affairs department can issue these orders.
“In unavoidable circumstances, where obtaining of prior direction is not feasible, such order may be issued by an officer, not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India, who has been duly authorised by the Union Home Secretary or the State Home Secretary,” the rules mandate. Such an order to suspend telecom service shall then have to be confirmed by a competent authority within 24 hours of it being issued, according to the rules.
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