Realising Audit Claim from GP

BTRC appeals against HC injunction

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:54, Oct 21,2019


The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Sunday filed an appeal against the High Court’s injunction for two months on realisation of Tk 12,579.95 crore in audit claim from mobile operator Grameenphone by the telecom regulator.

The BTRC in its appeal also prayed to the Appellate Division for staying the injunction.

Chamber judge Justice Md Nuruzzaman is likely to hear the appeal today, BTRC lawyer Reza E Raquib Khandaker told New Age on Sunday.

A bench of Justice AKM Abdul Hakim and Justice Fatema Najib on October 17 issued the two-month  injunction following a petition filed by GP challenging the order issued by the first joint district judge’s court on August 28.

The first joint district judge’s court in its order had refused to grant the injunction on the realisation of the money.

Raquib said that they had lodged the appeal with the AD against the injunction as the HC order had been issued without hearing the commission.

Earlier on April 2, the BTRC served a demand notice on GP after an audit firm, a joint venture of Toha Khan Zaman and Co Chartered Accountants, calculated that GP had not paid Tk 12,579.95 crore to the BTRC and the National Board of Revenue since 1997.

The HC bench had also accepted GP’s appeal for holding a hearing on November 5.

On October 17, the telecom ministry approved a BTRC proposal to appoint administrators to GP and another mobile company, Robi, over the non-payment of audit claims.

The BTRC had earlier directed Robi to pay Tk 867.24 crore in audit claim.

BTRC officials said that if the commission got positive result from its appeal with the AD, the BTRC would further proceed with its move to appoint administrators to the mobile operators to realise the claims.

A telecom ministry official said that the BTRC proposals on appointing administrators to GP and Robi were approved by posts and telecommunications minister Mustafa Jabbar on October 17.

The government’s endorsement came after the telecom regulator found explanations of both the operators on BTRC’s show-cause notices ‘unacceptable’.

The BTRC on September 5 this year issued the show-cause notices to GP and Robi asking them why their licences would not be cancelled for non-payment of the audit claims.

A few days before issuance of the show-cause notices, both the companies filed lawsuits with the district court challenging the legality of the regulator’s moves to recover Tk 13,446 crore in audit claims.

The HC bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Ashish Ranjan Das on Sunday set tomorrow for giving its decision on Robi’s prayer for issuing injunction on realising Tk 867.23 crore from it by the BTRC.

The bench heard Robi’s application moved by attorney general Mahbubey Alam with BRTC lawyer.

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