Official information from the High Commission of India and its respective consulates in Edinburgh and Birmingham regarding Satellite phones
"The use/operation of any Telegraphic services/devices, including wireless is regulated by the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. Anyone using any telegraphic devices, including Thuraya / Irridium Satellite phone un-authorised, violates Section 4 of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and can be penalised under section 20 and 21 of the said Act.
Any foreigner intending to bring satellite phone into India would have to obtain prior license/permission of Department of Telecommunications and in case of import of a satellite phone as a cargo, a declaration is to be given by the person importing the goods about details of goods. Satellites phones brought in baggage/hand baggage without licence would be detained/confiscated till such time the holder is able to produce a license issued by the Department of Telecommunications.”