In a significant stride towards expediting telecom sector dispute resolutions, the Ministry of Law and Justice in Pakistan has officially announced the implementation of the “Telecom Appellate Tribunal Ordinance.”
Passed by President Dr. Arif Alvi on December 22, 2023, the ordinance aims to establish a specialized court dedicated to promptly adjudicating disputes within the country’s telecommunications industry.
Recognizing the necessity for a dedicated tribunal to address telecom sector issues swiftly, the caretaker federal cabinet decided to promulgate the ordinance. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom clarified that, due to the absence of the National Assembly, presenting the amendment for the specialized court before the Senate would have resulted in a lengthy three to four-month process, further delaying the establishment of the telecom tribunals.
To facilitate the creation of the Telecom Appellate Tribunal, sources indicate amendments to Section 7 and 22 of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996. The tribunal aims to streamline and expedite case adjudication, alleviating the burden on the regular court system.
Comprising three members, the tribunal’s chairman will be a High Court Judge or an individual with equivalent legal experience. Additionally, one member will serve as a technical expert, while the other will be a financial expert.
The establishment of the Telecom Appellate Tribunal is anticipated to resolve long standing disputes within the telecom sector, including cases related to the telecom spectrum.
This resolution holds particular significance for the government’s plans to auction 5G in Pakistan. With the 5G auction scheduled for July this year, the auction advisory committee has already convened, urging the frequency allocation board to allocate spectrum for the upcoming auction.