The High Court upheld the decision to revoke the license of Smart Telecom
The license of Smart Telecom will be automatically cancelled following a decision by the Patan High Court to uphold the ruling of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority. The joint bench of Judge Dhruvrachandra Nand and Dipendra Bahadur Bam ruled in favor of the Telecommunication Authority on Friday. Smart Telecom had earlier approached the High Court, despite the authority’s decision to automatically cancel its license according to the law.
On March 30, Ramnath Vantha Tharu, representing Smart Telecom, filed a writ petition seeking an interim order to prevent the implementation of the Authority Board’s decision. The writ petition named opponents such as the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Nepal Telecommunication Authority, and Authority Chairman. Senior advocates Shambhu Thapa and Raman Kumar Shrestha, as well as advocates Harikumar Pokharel, Dayanath Kharel, and Virat Dhwaj Thapa, argued on behalf of Smart Telecom.
After the writ hearing, the single bench of Judge Narishwar Bhandari issued a show cause order to the opposition and called for a discussion. On Friday, the joint bench of Justices Nand and Bam ruled that there is no need to issue an interim order to prevent the implementation of the decision of the Telecommunication Authority Board. As a result, the Telecommunication Authority will be able to proceed with the process of asset management of Smart Telecom.
Smart Telecom did not apply for renewal, despite the expiry of its license period on May 2, and with arrears of 5 billion rupees and a renewal fee of 23 billion rupees. Section 25 of the Telecommunications Act states that if the license is not renewed within the specified period, such a license will be automatically cancelled. Based on the same provision, the authority board meeting on May 4th decided to automatically cancel Smart Telecom’s license and to instruct the authority to transfer its telecommunication infrastructure structure, telecommunication system, and telecommunication network to the current state.