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Simran   29 February 2024

Cell phone software repair and unlocking pincode/patternlock/passwords

Respected Sir, I am Simran Arora and I run a data recovery firm in Mumbai.
I plan to diversify with cell phone repairing and software flasshing.
Since this branch has wide scope, it comes with great responsibility.
This is because there are many cases of theft of cellphones which usually have a pin or a pattern lock or FRP lock. A client could be any one who may or may not be a genuine owner of the phone.
It has been observed that at many times cell phone repair shops would clear such passwords/pinlocks/frp locks and a few months down the line the local police would show up at the shop and harass the shop keeper.

Finding out further, the shopkeepers are often released and case is only limited to the person who put the simcard and used the phone (ie person who probably bought it cheap at choor bazar)

In such a scene, even an original owner who has an expensive phone may not be able to take benefit of third party repairing services as it is very difficult for the service provider to ascertain the title of the phone.
In such an instance i wish to ask

1)What are per-defined laws for service providers to render such a service.
2)What is the liability of the shopkeeper if he unknowingly unlocks a stolen phone.
3)Is doing software repair and unlocking phones a criminal offense, if so please help me with the IPC/ CRPC.
4)What are the best practices to do before rendering such a service so that it aids the Police department as well. I ask so because phones are often traced only after some one puts in sim card post unlocking, ie stolen phone is sold of. Hence I believe the traceability is only function of unlocking as without unlocking the phone would never have been traced (so it can be a blessing in disguise).

I request you to please put clarity on this issue as India has Right to Repair implemented and unlocking phones for genuine customers very well falls within the purview of right to repair(not yet implemented ).




 1 Replies

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     29 February 2024

If you conduct this business as a small business without employing anyone then it will be treated as a petty business but if you want to do it as a big business then you can obtain licence under shops and establishment act.

This is another business hence you may not be required to obtain any special permission to carry out this business.

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