19 December 2013

Lahore High Court suspends PTA's Enforcement Order in Appeal filed by LDI Licensee through Azam & Rai

Sector: Telecommunication Laws
In a First Appeal against Order (FAO) filed by Azam & Rai in the Lahore High Court, Lahore on behalf of a Long-Distance International (LDI) Licensee against the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Lahore High Court has suspended PTA's Enforcement Order against the LDI Licensee.

The Appeal is in relation to a dispute arising from a Complaint filed with the PTA by a Local Loop (LL) Licensee against the LDI Licensee. On the basis of the Complaint, the PTA, through its Enforcement Order, had directed the LDI Licensee to revert to its original rates (Interconnection Charges) for provision of Value-Added Telephony Call Routing Services (Interconnection Services) to the LL Licensee, which the LDI Licensee had increased in accordance with the law and its Reciprocal Carrier Service Agreement (Interconnection Agreement) with the LL Licensee. Azam & Rai argued before the High Court that the PTA's Enforcement Order was in blatant violation and contravention of the express provisions contained in the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996, the Pakistan Telecommunication Rules, 2000, the Interconnection Dispute Resolution Regulations, 2004 and the Interconnection Agreement. Furthermore, the Interconnection Agreement contains an arbitration clause, which provides that any dispute between the LDI Licensee and the LL Licensee arising from or in connection with the Interconnection Agreement would be resolved under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Rules of Arbitration. Azam & Rai argued that the arbitration clause prevented the LL Licensee from lodging any Complaint with the PTA on the basis of the Interconnection Agreement and further prevented the PTA from adjudicating upon the dispute.

Azam & Rai's client is one of 14 LDI licensees in Pakistan and one of four LDI licensees, which Azam & Rai has represented, and continues to represent, before different High Courts in Pakistan in relation to various telecom-related disputes.