What can be done on receiving the stalking call?


Cyber stalking also known as online or electronic stalking is on the rise and it has comfortably made its way into the pockets of all, including school going students, through their sky-high association with social media and smart phones. On the one hand, technology has opened up our lives but on the other hand, it is latently being responsible for taking the lives of millennial women to an age of misery, where women lived in constant fear of subjugation and where they were deprived from socializing. These are the very words said by an unnamed female victim of physical as well as online stalking in London, after her stalker was sentenced to a 22 month imprisonment, still unable to get rid of stalking’s haunting memories.[i]  Cyber stalking is capable of shattering the victims’ nerves, irrespective of the victim’s gender. It may even reduce the confidence and bravery of victims to nothing. The predecessor of this cyber stalking is, stalking through phone calls, or simply stalking calls. Yet the trend of stalking through phone calls has not withered away. Instead, this phenomenon is increasingly seen in all incidents of stalking, both physical and electronic. Technically, it comes within the purview of Cyber stalking. This phenomenon, which is associated with both types of stalking, makes the use of mobile phones, a traumatic experience. This piece of composition will shed light on what can be done when encountered with stalking calls.

What is it?

Before knowing what can be done on receiving stalking calls it is paramount to understand what constitutes a stalking call. Stalking could be defined as a series of acts that try to establish repeated and unwanted contact that makes the person on the receiving end to feel unsafe. So, one could comprehend that phone calls that try to forge a similar relationship with malicious intent are called stalking calls. Therefore a stalking call will have the following elements in it.

  • Repeated in nature
  • Unwanted content
  • Makes to feel threatening or scary or unsafe

If at least two of the above said elements are present, with the repeated nature of calls being a prerequisite, then such calls will amount to stalking calls. As such, phishing calls and blank calls can also be construed as stalking calls. This kind of calls has become one of the major signs of stalking behaviour.

In India, stalking pursued with the use of online or electronic means will be treated as cyber stalking.[ii] According to this, staking calls are also punishable at par with cyber stalking under Section 354-D of IPC.

What can be done?

  • As stalking calls come within the scope of Section 354-D of IPC, stalking calls can be reported to the local Police Station. The Police is under an obligation to track the accused with the help of victim’s telephone service provider.After investigation, an FIR will be filed on the accused. If proper investigation has not been done by the Police, they could be made to do so by approaching the appellate court. This happened in the case of P.Esther Lily V. Superintendent of Police, Nagercoil.[iii]
  • In case the Police deny to take the complaint of victim, he can approach the Superintendent of Police and place the complaint.
  • A complaint can also be lodged against the numbers, which sends unwanted calls or stalking calls, with any Cyber units irrespective of its jurisdiction. They have a duty to identify the users of such numbers and file cases against them. If the identity of such numbers’ users cannot be found, the service providers will be made to terminate the services of those numbers according to the regulations established under Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act.
  • Similar to that of a stalking case, an order of restraint, also known as order of protection can be sought from a Criminal Court. This will ensure that the offender is restrained from continuing the crime. He or she will also be isolated from the victim. In order to accomplish this, the victim will have to approach his or her Criminal Lawyer and get a criminal complaint drafted with a prayer of restraint order.
  • The victim shall approach a trained victim advocate, who in turn will provide the victim with different options available to resolve the issue at hand. He will maintain utmost levels of confidentiality and even accompany the victim to Court of Law, if it is needed.
  • If there exists any reliable phone line for women just like the Woman Power Line set up by the Police Department of the State of UttarPradesh, female victims of stalking calls could make use of this facility. The Women Power Line is a 24/7 phone line service launched for helping women in trouble, where stalkers are dealt with in a peculiar way.[iv]
  • This method is the easiest and most effective. The victim of stalking call has to complain to his or her service provider’s complaint centre about the harassment, so that services to such offender will be terminated or other required action will be taken.
    • Regulation 3 of Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012[v] puts the service providers under a legal imperative to establish a complaint centre before initiating the providing of any service. Its purpose is to hear and redress the complaints as well as service requests of its consumers. It should have a toll free consumer care number, which can be accessible by the network of other service providers as well.
    • Unless there is no specific time fixed under the Quality of Service Regulations issued by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, all the complaints of the consumers have to be addressed within 3 days. This is mandatory for all service providers under Regulation 8 of Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012.
    • The procedure for registering a complaint and the further follow up required to be done by the victim are as follows.[vi]
      1. Call the toll free consumer care number. First select the language that you need, and then select the relevant broad category of complaints or service requests, and then finally select the option of ‘stalking calls’ from various sub-menus of complaints and service requests.
      2. After the completion of these steps, an agent of the consumer care will hear the victim’s complaint and register it.
      3. After this a unique complaint number called the docket number will be communicated to the victim through SMS (Short Messaging Service), along with the time frame necessary for resolving the issue.
      4. The victim will have to check the status of his or her complaint in the Complaint Monitoring System, which is to be established by the service providers as per Regulation 6 of the Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012. The system would have been updated with the consumer’s docket number and phone number, the date and time of complaint and the time limit that was assured to the consumer at the time of registering the complaint.
      5. On completion of action, the details of action taken will be communicated to the victim through SMS.
    • If the complaints are not resolved by the Service Providers in satisfactory manner, victims can make an application to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal for adjudicating the dispute thereby created between the victim and the service provider. This has been enumerated in Section 14-A of the TRAI Act.[vii]
    • On the other hand, the victim can also directly approach the TRAI instead of approaching the complaint centre of Service Provider.
    • If the direction given by TRAI in that regard is not satisfactory to the victim, then he or she can prefer an appeal in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, against such direction within 30 days from the date of receiving a copy of such direction from TRAI.


A survey conducted in India by an app called Truecaller revealed that 1 in 3 women in India receive inappropriate and lewd calls, among which 52% receive calls with sexually explicit remarks once in a week. The sheer numbers discloses the degree of lack of empathy and sensitization towards the issue. Stalking calls may appear to be normal, but it is not so. A study conducted in 2013 in Washington Lee University found that, women who are victims of stalking are three times more likely to get affected by psychological distress. Stalking calls may have noticeable and irreparable effects on the victim. This pathetic situation can be addressed by popularizing laws on stalking, and socializing women and society in such a way that stigma is only on the stalker and not on the person who is stalked. Legislating a separate Act on stalking would also be an effective remedy.

Edited by Pragash Boopal

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[i] https://www.ndtv.com/indians-abroad/28-year-old-indian-man-jailed-for-29-months-for-stalking-woman-in-uk-2038760

[ii] https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/stalking-is-now-a-crime-will-invite-three-years-in-jail/story-a0XNSS2IUENrYhS2AYuOxH.html

[iii] 2018 Indlaw MAD 6766

[iv] https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/creep-callers-in-up-are-up-against-ire-of-parents-god-and-cops/story-oEAFdOCyhRKGg4t55aloBM.html

[v] https://main.trai.gov.in/sites/default/files/TCCR_Regulations_05Jan2012.pdf

[vi] http://dot.gov.in/public-grievances


Karthiga Ramasubramanian
I am R. Karthiga pursuing B.A.;LL.B.(Hons.) from SASTRA Deemed University, Thanjavur. My areas of interest include Constitutional law, Family law and Environmental law. History, Political Science and Sociology are my favourite realms. I am enthusiastic about researching in law and I aspire to write productively. I like to take part in lectures and conferences with a theme on socio-legal issues. I believe that this is high time to prioritize humanity and nature above all. I read historical and social realism novels as well as books on mythology. I am intrigued by Indian philosophy as well. I love going on experiential tours, where different cultures are understood and appreciated.