Government decides to establish Telecom Appellate Tribunal

The federal government has decided to establish Telecom Appellate Tribunal Pakistan Telecommunications (Reorganization) Act, 1996, aimed at facilitating smooth and speedy adjudication and reduce burden on high courts.

Official sources told Business Recorder that section 7(1) of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act, 1996 provides, "A person aggrieved by any decision or order of the Authority on the ground that it is contrary to the provisions of this Act, may, within thirty days of the receipt of such decision or order, appeal to the High Court or to any other tribunal established by the federal government for the purpose, in the manner prescribed by the High Court for filling the first appeal before that Court or the tribunal and the Court or the tribunal shall decide such appeal within ninety days."

Further Section 22(2) of the Telecom Act, 1996 provides "If the Authority and a licensee cannot agree to modification proposed by the Authority to a license condition, the Authority and the licencee shall resolve their difference or dispute through consultation and negotiation. If the licencee and the Authority fail to amicably resolve such difference or dispute, either party may make an application to the High Court or a Tribunal established by the Federal Government for the purpose and the High Court or as the case may be the Tribunal shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate and settle all matters connected therewith and in exercise of such jurisdiction, the High Court or the Tribunal as the case may be shall follow the procedure, as nearly as possible, as provided in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act Vof1908)."

Ministry of Law & Justice stated in its letter of May 24, 2018 that under section 7(1) of the Act, 1996, the federal government may establish a tribunal for the purpose of this Act.

The sources said establishment of Telecom Appellate Tribunal for telecom sector as required under Section 7 & 22 of the Act, 1996 will facilitate smooth and speedy adjudication of cases and help to reduce undue burden on the High Courts across Pakistan relating to telecom sector cases.