Pending complaint: Court directs CCP to give decision in 10 days

Private company was raided last year for alleged ‘grey traffic’ violations .

Our Correspondent July 16, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to decide on a complaint filed by a private telephony services company within 10 days.

Wise Communication Systems Private Limited (WiseComm) filed a writ petition in the IHC through its lawyer, Barrister Afzal Hussain, stating that its complaint had been pending for almost seven months.

IHC Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi was informed by Hussain that WiseComm is a licenced company that provides telecommunication services to consumers and was practically shutdown due to strong arm tactics, which the company claims were initiated by a leading telephony services provider.

“The petitioner filed a complaint under Section 3 of the Competition Act before the CCP for the protection of its legal rights and also paid the prescribed filing fee of Rs50,000,” he said.

He said despite the passage of six months, the CCP has not decided on the complaint, due to which the petitioner is losing millions of rupees every month.

After hearing the arguments of the counsel, the court issued directions to the CCP to decide on the complaint of the petitioner within 10 days and submit a report through the IHC deputy registrar and disposed of the writ petition.

November raid

Last November, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) conducted a raid at WiseComm’s offices and allegedly found the company to be illegally terminating international telephony traffic in Pakistan — also referred to as ‘grey traffic’ — thus evading government taxes to the tune of Rs10 billion per year.

WiseComm is one of 14 long distance international operators based in Islamabad.

Soon after the November raid, a PTA official had claimed that WiseComm was terminating approximately 360,000 illegal international minutes on a daily basis and showing them as local traffic, thus evading government levies on international calls landing in Pakistan.

Using its International Clearing House facility, the PTA analysed WiseCom’s traffic patterns and found anomalies, based on which a complaint was filed with the FIA.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2014.


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