Order lifted

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By DAPHNE WANI
A COURT has lifted the order restraining the National Information and Communication Technology Authority from deactivating all unregistered subscriber identity modules (SIM) cards for mobile phone users.
But the authority is yet to inform the public and the mobile network operators what the new arrangement, if any, will be.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology Sam Basil told The National last night that he would issue a statement on the matter today.
Attempts made to get a comment yesterday from the authority on the compulsory SIM card registration were unsuccessful.
The authority had set April 30 as the deadline for the registration of SIM cards.
But on April 29, Madang MP Bryan Kramer applied to the National Court to issue a stay order on the matter as he wanted to challenge the decision by the authority to deactivate unregistered SIM cards.
Yesterday, National Court judge Justice Oagile Key Bethuel Dingake ordered that Kramer’s court proceeding of April 29 “be withdrawn in its entirety”.
He ordered the parties to pay their own costs.
Lawyer Tiffany Twivey represented the authority and the State.
She told The National that the injunction (stay order) was lifted because the proceeding had been withdrawn.
Kramer asked for the withdrawal of his case after the court refused to allow him an extension of seven days to file supporting affidavits in relation to the substantive case against the decision by the authority.
Justice Dingake refused Kramer’s request for an extension of time saying he had been given ample time to file the affidavits. He told Kramer that “court orders are non-negotiable” and must be compiled with.
He also ruled that the application was improper.
It is the requirement under the Sim Cards Regulations 2016 that mobile network operators Digicel PNG, bMobile-Vodafone and Telikom PNG should deactivate all SIM cards which were not registered.
Kramer told The National outside court that he planned to apply for a judicial review of the court decision.

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