In a controversial order, Mumbai Police have directed all the public call office (PCO) operators to maintain a record of every person who uses their phone.
As per the direction, a customer using a PCO phone will have to produce a proof of his/ her identity before being allowed to make a call, police sources said.
The booth operator will also have to maintain a register where he keeps a record of the customers' names, addresses, and numbers of the people to whom the calls were made.
The measure is being put in place to tackle the menace of hoax calls, they said. Mumbai Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh recently mooted this idea after it was observed that in most cases, hoax calls were traced to PCOs.
The direction follows after the successful implementation of the order that those using cyber cafes should produce identity card.
Though the direction of the police commissioner is not a foolproof plan, but at least a step has been taken to curb the menace of hoax and fake calls, sources said.
Once the draft is prepared, it will be sent to the police commissioner, who will issue the order under Section 144 (power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Local police stations will monitor all the PCOs in their jurisdiction and if any PCO operator fails to comply with the direction, he will be booked under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of Indian Penal Code, they added.
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