Grameenphone parent company Telenor has recently sent a legal notice to the Bangladesh president demanding arbitration to resolve the disputed audit claim of Tk 12,580 crore by BTRC.
Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar disclosed this at a meeting of Telecom Reporters' Network Bangladesh (TRNB) at his office.
The minister also said that mobile phone operator Robi is also trying to go for an arbitration by withdrawing their lawsuit against Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
On November 24, the Supreme Court directed Grameenphone to pay Tk 2,000 crore, around 10 times higher than what the carrier was willing to pay as adjustable deposit, to the telecom regulator.
The SC also ordered the leading mobile operator to pay the amount within the next three months.
Failure to do so could result in Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) taking measures -- including appointing administrators -- against Grameenphone.
Earlier on November 14, Grameenphone agreed to pay BTRC a sum of Tk 200 crore against the regulator’s audit claim of 12,580 crore. This was in line with an out of court settlement between the two.
The apex court, however, rejected the settlement and issued the fresh order on November 24.
The SC also said that if the Tk 2,000 crore was not paid in three months, it would stay the High Court order which issued an injunction on BTRC’s move to realise the total sum.
A seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order following a petition filed by BTRC seeking a stay on the HC order passed on October 18.
Meanwhile, BTRC’s lawyer Barrister Khandakar Reza-E Raquib earlier told journalists that the Tk 2,000 crore was an advance payment.
Sharif Bhuiyan, a lawyer for Grameenphone, however, told The Daily Star that, it was an adjustable deposit, adding, “We can confirm what the court actually means [only] after getting the written order.”
After the SC order, Grameenphone in a statement said they would wait for the certified copy of the order to finalise the next course of action.