The High Court on Sunday directed Robi Axiata Limited to pay the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission in five months Tk 138 crore out of Tk 867.23 crore in BTRC audit claim.
The court also directed the BTRC not to take any step to realise Tk 867.23 crore on the condition that Robi would pay it Tk 138 crore in equal instalments in five months, the first of which would be paid by January 31.
The High Court said that its stay on realisation of the dues ‘shall stand vacated’ in the case of Robi’s failure to pay the instalments.
A bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the directive after hearing an application filed by Robi seeking stay on realisation by the BTRC of Tk 867.23 crore in dues.
Khandaker Reza-E-Raquib appeared for the BTRC and Tanjib-ul Alam and Kazi Ershadul Alam for Robi Axiata.
On November 24, 2019, the Appellate Division directed Grameenphone Limited to pay within three months Tk 2,000 crore out of Tk 12,579.95 crore in BTRC audit claim.
The Appellate Division also said that the High Court’s stay on realisation of Tk 12,579.95 crore by the BTRC should stand vacated it the mobile operator failed to pay the amount in the timeframe.
The Appellate Division issued the directive after disposing of an application filed by the BTRC seeking permission to appeal against the High Court’s stay order on realisation of Tk 12,579.95 crore.
On April 2, 2019, 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.
On July 31, 2018, the BTRC in a notice also demanded Tk 867.23cr as dues from Robi Axiata.
Both GP and Robi moved the High Court after the lower court rejected their prayers to restrict the BTRC from realising the dues until their pending lawsuits over the disputes were settled.
On October 17, 2019, the High Court stayed realisation by the BTRC of the audit claim from GP.
Later, the BTRC moved the Appellate Division to vacate the stay on realisation of the claim.
On October 17, 2019, the telecom ministry approved a BTRC proposal to appoint administrators to GP and Robi over non-payment of the audit claims.
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