Grameenphone today got two weeks more to inform the Supreme Court how much money it can give at present to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) from Tk 12,580 crores dues.
The apex court has given the time to the Grameenphone (GP) after its lawyers sought more time during a hearing a petition filed by BTRC seeking a stay on the High Court order that issued an injunction on its move to realise Tk 12,580 crore from the telecom giant.
A six-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, fixed November 14 for further hearing on the BTRC’s petition.
During today’s hearing, the chief justice told the lawyers of GP that it is not acceptable that Grameenphone will run business in the country but will not pay the money to the government.
Some people feel that they will be spared if they can file a petition with the court for an order in their favour, he said.
GP lawyers Advocate AM Aminuddin and Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh told the court that Grameenphone has already given more than Tk 2,000 crores to the government.
The Grameenphone did not say that it will not give the money, they said.
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.”
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.