The Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lahore, on Thursday submitted unconditional apology before the Lahore High Court during the hearing of a court contempt petition, agreeing to provide the cellular operators access to the cell sites installed in its limits by the time the case was disposed of.
The Authority, however, told the court that it had returned the cheques because it did not want to renew rental agreements. Justice Umar Ata Bandial accepted the apology, adjourned the hearing for June 17 for further arguments.
Different cellular operators had approached the LHC seeking directions for the DHA authorities to bring down the rent amount, let them avail their legal right to visit cell sites and facilitate the companies in renewal of the contracts.
In the case of one company, the LHC had issued orders not to remove the towers of the company from the cell sites the petitioner-company had valid contracts for. Afterwards, the aggrieved company deposited due amount related to these rentals payable against the contracts, however, the DHA, refused to receive the said money, saying it did not want to renew contracts.
The petitioner-companies said the DHA had also disconnected electricity for many sites resulting into the outages of service, creating problems for the residents.
The petitioners said that, despite the court’s orders, the DHA had denied them access to some sites, making them move a contempt of court petition against the authority. They pointed out that at least one employee of a cellular company was detained in the DHA offices earlier this week. It required police intervention to get the person released, they added.
They argued that cellular mobile operators were licensed to install towers all over Pakistan as per the Telecom Act. Sites had also been installed in the DHA, Lahore, under the provisions of the Pakistan Telecommunications (Re-organization) Act 1996.
They said they had been complaining since 2007, adding that the DHA had started charging exorbitant rents which had now increased to Rs. 1.2 million per annum with non-refundable processing charges of Rs. 0.5 million and refundable security deposit of Rs 1.2 million for a small space only.
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Category: Telecom News