The High Court today rejected mobile phone operator Grameenphone's plea for an arbitration to mutually settle its dues of Tk12,579 crore claimed by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The single member bench of Justice Mohammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar issued the order.
As of now, the Appellate Division of the apex court is set to hear a petition on October 24 seeking a stay on another High Court order that barred the BTRC from collecting dues from Grameenphone.
Dr Sharif Bhuiyan and Tanim Hossain Shaon filed the plea for arbitration on behalf of Grameenphone while Khondokar Reza-E Rakib represented the BTRC.
Tanim Hossain Shaon said according to the BTRC-1996 Act the litigants concerned could file for arbitration. But the act in 2004 was revised without consultation with stakeholders in the telecommunication industry and the provision for arbitration was annulled.
However, Khondokar Reza-E Rakib said that there had been no agreement between the BTRC and Grameenphone for arbitration and thus the High Court has rejected the plea by Grameenphone.
On July 29, Grameenphone sought an order from the High Court to resolve the claim through an arbitration.
On August 28, a lower court rejected a plea filed by Grameenphone for a temporary injunction on the BTRC collecting the dues and halting any harassment until the case is disposed of.
Consequently, the telecom company filed an appeal challenging the lower court order.
On Thursday, the High Court ruled in favour of Grameenphone, imposing a two-month injunction barring the telecom regulator from collecting the dues from the mobile phone operator.
On April 2, the regulator demanded Tk12,579.95 crore from Grameenphone over irregularities in 27 items, prompting the company to seek legal actions.
The High Court has also set November 5 for hearing the appeal filed by Grameenphone.