SC order on HC injunction over Tk 126bn GP dues Nov 24

Dhaka, Nov 18 – The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Monday deferred its order until November 24 on a petition filed by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) seeking a stay on the High Court order that issued an interim injunction for two months against the realisation of Tk. 12,580 crore due from Grameenphone.A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain yesterday did not pass its order yesterday saying that the seven-member full bench of the Appellate Division would pass an order on the issue on November 24.
Earlier, on November 14, the apex court fixed November 18 (yesterday) for delivering its order on the matter.
During yesterday’s proceedings, the Appellate Division asked GP authority not to pursue any arbitration process over the payment before any other forum.
During the hearing on the matter, GP lawyers had on November 14 informed the Appellate Division that GP was ready to initially pay Tk. 200 crore, of the Tk. 12,580 crore in dues, to the BTRC, in line with the out-of-court settlement, reached between the GP and BTRC in the presence of the posts and telecommunication minister and the finance minister.
Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, counsel for GP, told the court that on October 3 the mobile phone operator and mobile phone regulator decided on five proposals at a meeting between the GP and BTRC, in the presence of the two ministers.
Among the five proposals, one was the payment of Tk. 200 crore by GP to BTRC in two installments on condition that BTRC would remove restrictions imposed on GP.
Attorney general Mahbubey Alam vehemently opposed the proposal and told the court that the mobile phone operator should deposit at least 50 percent of the money claimed.
Only then could a discussion take place for payment of the remaining amount, he said.
Earlier in the day, the chief law officer of the state submitted a petition before the apex court on behalf of BTRC, praying to the SC to order Grameenphone to pay 50 percent of Tk. 12,580 crore in dues.
On October 31, the Appellate Division wanted to know from GP how much money it could pay now to BTRC and granted two weeks’ time to the mobile phone operator to comply. Subsequently, the case came up on yesterday’s cause list of the apex court.
On October 17, the HC bench of Justice AKM Abdul Hakim and Justice Fatema Najib issued an ad-interim injunction for two months against the realisation of Tk. 12.580 crore from GP by BTRC. – Staff Reporter