SC defers hearing on CityCell move till Oct 31

Staff Correspondent | Published: 13:13, Oct 25,2016


The Appellate Division on Tuesday set October 31 for a full court hearing on the appeal of CityCell, the country’s first mobile phone company, against suspension of its operation.

The vacation chamber judge, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, set the date after a brief hearing on the petition.

Lawyers Shafique Ahmed, Arshad Rauf, and Md Mustafizur Rahman Khan appeared for the mobile company while attorney general Mahbubey Alam and lawyer Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh represented the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

Taposh told New Age that the BTRC may allow resuming CityCell operations if the mobile company pays the total outstanding dues worth Tk 477.51 crore within a month as directed by the Appellate Division earlier.

CityCell on Monday filed a petition in the Appellate Division seeking a directive on BTRC to withdraw its order suspending the operation of the country’s first mobile phone company from October 20 night.

Justice Hasan Foez Siddique set the petition for hearing today.

BTRC on Monday in a letter sought permission from the posts and telecommunication ministry to cancel CityCell’s mobile phone operating licence.

On August 17, the BTRC in a notice asked CityCell to explain in 30 days why its operating licence would not be cancelled for its failure to pay arrear dues worth Tk 477.51cr.

In the petition CityCell submitted in the apex court that the BTRC illegally shut down its operation on October 20, two days after it paid Tk 130.19 crore, two-thirds of the total arrear dues of Tk 2 16.56 crore, in compliance with a directive issued by the Appellate Division on August 29.

The apex court directive requires CityCell to pay the remaining one-third of the outstanding dues within a month from the date of payment of the first installment, submitted the petitioner.

Officials said that the accounts of the BTRC and the CityCell differed with regard to the arrear outstanding dues.

The CityCell also submitted that the BTRC did not allocate it 10.18 MHz bandwidth spectrum flouting an agreement the two sides signed on August 7, 2012.

Citycell submitted that it was given 8.55 MHz spectrum—6.3 MHz for national- wide use—2.52 MHz for Dhaka Central zone’s use.

Due to this reason, it submitted CityCell neither got the needed investments nor fully clear the outstanding dues.

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