SC asks BTRC to restore Citycell’s frequency in 24 hrs

UNB . Dhaka | Update:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the government authorities concerned to restore the frequency allocation of Citycell within 24 hours.

Currently, the operation of the country’s first mobile phone operator, Citycell, remains suspended.

A three-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by chief justice SK Sinha, passed the order following a petition.

The SC apex court asked the relevant authorities to reactivate Citycell's liscence and fixed 6 August for hearing on a petition filed for contempt of court.

On Monday last, the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) decided to scrap the liscence of the Citycell.

On 20 October 2016, the BTRC suspended the spectrum of Citycell as it failed to pay the outstanding payment of Tk 477.63 crore.

The Citycell authorities filed the petition with the Appellate Division on 24 October seeking a stay on the decision of the BTRC that suspended its spectrum for the non-payment of its dues.

On 3 November last year, the Supreme Court ordered the authorities to immediately reopen Citycell frequency and directed mobile firm to pay Tk 1 billion in dues by 19 November.

The SC also fixed Tk 500,000 as honorarium to the committee chief while Tk 250,000 each to the other members of the committee and asked both sides - Citycell and the BTRC - to bear the honorarium.

The Appellate Division ordered Citycell to pay its Tk 477.51 crore dues to the BTRC in two installments to continue its operation on 29 August.

The apex court had asked the mobile phone operator to pay the first slot of Tk 318.42 crore, two-thirds of the total outstanding payment, within 19 October.

As Citycell failed to pay the two-thirds of the total amount within the stipulated time, the BTRC decided to suspend the operations of the mobile phone operator as per law.

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