The Indian government has decided to include Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) among agencies that get access to Call Data Records (CDR) to help them track economic offences including insider trading,
reports Times of India.
Changes to Telegraph Act
The report also states that the ministries of home and telecom are looking to make changes in the Indian Telegraph Act to regulate accessing of CDRs from the telecom service provider like mandatory authorization by home secretary or joint secretary in the home ministry.
According Section 92 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), currently only the police has the authority to access CDRs under based on a FIR. Therefore SEBI and RBI may not be able to access these records, especially if there is no FIR.
In August 2011, SEBI had sent a formal request to the Department of Telecommunications to include the board in the list of law enforcement or investigating agencies which can seek e-mail and call records from telecom service providers.
Prior to this request for access to CDRs, brokers and other financial services providers reported suspicious trading activities to the government’s Financial Intelligence Unit, which is then escalated them to national and international investigation/intelligence agencies, to check money laundering.
In 2011, SEBI had also warned investors about investing based on SMS tips and also about their employees using blogs, messaging service and forums to offer unsolicited tips. There were also reports that the board intended to approach TRAI to put a ban on unsolicited stock tips over SMS.
In April 2013, SEBI was also looking to issue guidelines to companies on the use of Facebook, Twitter and social media for the dissemination of information to client. SEBI also plans to soon hire staff to sift through social media for stock market tip offs that could impact the stock prices before official announcements.