The consequences of violations of various provisions of the proposed
Communication Convergence Bill have been provided under Chapter X and Chapter
XV of the Bill. The offences listed cover breach of licensing terms to
protection of infrastructure, obscene or antinational etc.
The financial penalties are so stiff that one single offence can effectively
finish off an offending Company forever. Some of the offences are listed
1. Breach of Licencing terms by a licensee could attract a penalty of
upto Rs 50 crores
2. Damage to Cable or any Network infrastructure facility by any person
may attract a penalty to the extent of the damage if the damage is not
willful. In case of willful damage, the penalty can be imposed upto Rs
5 crores even if the actual damage is for a lesser amount. The actual loss
so collected will be payable to the Network licensee who has suffered the
loss. The assessment for the purpose would be done by the adjudicating
3. Using an unlicensed network facility and transmitting or distributing
Communication may attract a penalty of upto Rs 10 crores.
4. Any person receiving content for transmission or accepts delivery
of any content from an unlicensed operator may be liable for penalty upto
Rs 10 crores.
5. Non Registration of agreements with the Regulator could be punished
with a penalty of Rs 10 lakhs while non-compliance of directions from the
Regulator could attract a penalty as high as Rs 10 crores and Rs 2 lakh
per day of the violation continues.
In addition to the above offences where the violator may be required
to pay a compensation the following offences will attract further punishments
1.Any person without a license owns or provides any Network infrastructure
facility, provides any communication service or knowingly assists in the
process in any manner including
a) Collection of Subscription for his Principal
b) Issuing Advertisements for such service
c) Dealing or Distribution of equipment for decoding programmes
may be punished with imprisonment of upto 5 years in the first instance
and 10 years in the subsequent instance besides a fine that may extend
to Rs 5 or 10 Crores respectively.
2) Any person who without the permission of the service provider and
with intent to defraud diverts any signal, or decodes any content may be
punished with a fine of upto Rs 10 crores and imprisonment of upto 5 years.
3) Any person who knowingly benefits from or assists in such unauthorized
diversion or tampering with communication service may also be punished
with an imprisonment of upto 2 years and a fine of upto Rs 2 crores.
4) Unauthorised usage of a Wireless equipment or a Radio frequency
may be punished with imprisonment of upto 3 years and a fine of upto Rs
5) Any person who sends offensive, or abusive or indecent or threatening
communication for causing annoyance, inconvenience, or anxiety to another
may be punished with imprisonment of upto 3 years and fine of upto RS 2
A cursory glance of the provisions indicates that the law has been framed
rather aggressively to protect the licensees and their facilities from
being tampered with and misused by criminals. To that extent it is a welcome
measure. However a thought may be spared to think whether the laws place
too much of power in the hands of officials and police which can be misused
for harassing honest Citizens who may appear to have strayed into
usage of facilities which may turn out to be unlawful.