Supreme Court over rules Lahore High Court’s ICH Suspension Decision

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has over ruled the Lahore High Court’s decision about ICH suspension, reported Geo TV.

Supreme court’s Lahore registry has now remanded back the ICH case to CPP (Competition Commission of Pakistan) by saying that Lahore High Court is not mandated to suspend ICH. SC said that ICH case should be heard in accordance with law and resolved in 15 days by Competition Commission of Pakistan.

As per ICH directive, all LDI operators, except PTCL, were asked to suspend their international circuits for international incoming traffic and hence all international incoming traffic was practically landing on PTCL’s network only. All – other than PTCL – LDI operators were promised a respective revenue share from international incoming traffic according to their current market share.

Lahore High Court had earlier suspending the ICH and had directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to implement court orders by asking operators to revert back to international incoming charges at pre-ICH level.

Today, LDI operators approached Supreme Court against LHC’s decision and requested to restore ICH. The Lahore registry of Supreme Court nullified LHC’s decision and reinstated ICH. Supreme Court — in its order — said that Lahore High Court is not mandated to suspended ICH. Instead the case should be heard by CCP, the order said.

The ICH over ruling means the LDI operators will continue to charge extortionate rates for Pakistan calls. It’s worth mentioning that the calls to Pakistan mobile and landline were around 1.25 cents per minute, Pre ICH. Since ICH was imposed, the LDI operators and PTCL are charging as high as 8.8 cents per minute. This is almost 7 times increase increase in call charges and one of the highest jump seen in telecom international market in recent years.