Court returns cellco petition on service halt

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STAFF REPORT IBD: The Sindh High Court has returned the petition filed by Telenor Pakistan against the suspension of cellular phone services terming it non-maintainable and said the company needs to first appeal to the telecom watchdog authority before moving the court.

This was stated by PTA lawyer Badar Alam while talking to the media after hearing session was held in the Sindh High Court last week.

He said that PTA is a semi-judicial body that reserves the right to implement its rules and listens complaints and concerns of telecom operators in its department concerned.

Badar Alam said that PTA keeps national interest on priority and lives and security of the people come first before business of any company.

While Telenor lawyer Ejaz Ahmed argued that cellular services can be suspended only by exercising powers described in Section 54(3) of the Act, subject to imposition of emergency in the country by the president.

He insisted that service suspensions in the past had been “irrational,” and a violation of the rights of the company protected under the articles 4, 18, 23 and 24 of the Constitution, since the president had not declared a state of emergency on any of the occasions on which cellular services were suspended.

Telenor Pakistan has filed a writ petition against PTA a few days ago aimed at stopping the frequent and unnecessary outage of cellular phone services that cause huge losses to company as a result of non-utility of the services.


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