The Supreme Court today wanted to know how much money Grameenphone can give to Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) from its Tk 12,580 crore dues at present.
The apex court asked the lawyers of the Grameenphone to inform the amount to this court by October 31.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order while hearing a petition filed by BTRC seeking a stay on a High Court order that issued an injunction on its move to realise Tk 12,580 crore from Grameenphone.
The court also fixed October 31 for further hearing in the BTRC petition.
Advocate AM Aminuddin and Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh argued for Grameenphone while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Barrister Khandaker Reza-E-Raquib appeared for BTRC.
On October 17, the HC issued a two-month injunction on the BTRC’s move to realise money it says Grameenphone owes the government.
The order came as a blow to the telecom regulator which was all set to appoint administrators at Grameenphone and Robi to run them and realise Tk 13,447 crore it claimed the carriers owed the government in “taxes, revenue shares, and late fees.”
The HC bench of Justice AKM Abdul Hakim and Justice Fatima Nazib on Thursday issued the injunction against the BTRC move to realise nearly Tk 12,580 crore from Grameenphone, the carrier with the largest number of users in Bangladesh.
Grameenphone maintains that the amount claimed by the BTRC is “disputed”.
The HC bench fixed November 5 for hearing Grameenphone’s appeal regarding the matter.
The government is ready to appoint the administrators as per the rules of the telecom act, he said.
Earlier, Sharif Bhuiyan, a lawyer for Grameenphone, said the BTRC on April 2 sent a letter demanding Tk 12,579.95 crore from the carrier as “tax, revenue share, and late fees”.
He said 27 items in the letter were illogical.
Grameenphone then filed a case with a Dhaka court seeking a remedy. It asked the court to direct the BTRC not to realise the money and harass the carrier until the issue was resolved.
The court later rejected Grameenphone’s plea.