Cell phone firms withdraw petition against ban on late-night packages

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court dismissed on Thursday a petition against banning mobile chat services and late-night packages after petitioners withdrew their petition.

The petitioners – Cell phone companies Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor, Warid and Zong – through their counsel Ali Raza requested the court to allow them to withdraw their petition after the respondent Pakistan Telecommunication Authority submitted its reply along with some transcripts of communication it had intercepted during late-night conversation of consumers.

PTA’s counsel Ahmer Bilal Soofi informed the court that the authority had directed the cellular companies on Oct 14 to stop “voice chat, chat line, gup shup, talk shalk, dosti package and late-night packages” after receiving complaints from different segments of society.

He said parliamentarians, media persons, students, parents and social activists had lodged complaints with the PTA and called for imposing a ban on the said services. The PTA, he said, intercepted several conversations with obscene contents.

Under Section 3 of the PTA Act, the authority could regulate the establishment and other affairs of mobile phone operators. If the cellular companies felt aggrieved of any of PTA’s directives they could file an appeal, Mr Soofi said.

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