SC Orders Immediate Bar on Sale of Indian DTH

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered immediate bar on the sale of Indian Direct to Home (DTH) units across the country.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also constituted a two-member committee comprising Additional Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Member Customs of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to recover the Indian DTH units.

A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice ordered FBR’s member customs to find out the source of smuggling.

The bench also directed the committee to take actions against those involved in smuggling and submit the report within 10 days.

The bench issued the order on a suo motu notice regarding subscribing DTH units taken during the hearing of a case.

The Chief Justice observed that the money which should have paid to Pakistani industry is being sent to India, adding the DTH sets are being openly sold in Lahore. He further observed that Pakistan is suffering loss due to Indian DTH.

During the hearing Additional Attorney General Syed Nayyar Rizvi informed the bench that Indian DTH is also a source of money laundering and its sale is illegal.

Meanwhile, the federal government has recommended Forensic Audit of all the service providers including Zong, Ufone, Telenor, Jazz along with the regulatory authority PTA on war footing in a suo motu case regarding grey trafficking.

According to recommendations submitted by Additional Attorney General (AAG) Syed Nayyar Rizvi, refilling fraud is not only an illicit traffic bypass, activity but the use of false CLIs on incoming international calls is also a national security risk as it impedes any call tracing and prevents lawful interception.

The recommendations submitted in the grey trafficking case further added that stronger enforcement of the law and penalising the culprit operator is paramount in the fight against refilling could be suspension of license or instituting fines or penalties.

“FIA to publicise raids/prosecution on all media forums to ensure a strong message to grey traffickers; Web portal to be developed for sending daily reports of CMO’s grey detections for access to PTA and FIA for speedy investigation and bust operation,” the recommendation actions to stop grey trafficking within 24 hours stated.

The bench disposed of a suo motu notice regarding grey trafficking with directions to submit a report regarding web monitoring system within 6 months.

During the hearing, AAG Rizvi informed the bench that USD 50 to USD 60 million of loss is being caused to the national exchequer due to grey trafficking.

He further added that the graph of grey trafficking has been alienated due to actions of FIA against the network.

Director General FIA Bashir Memon informed the bench that the grey trafficking is not possible without the support of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). He submitted before the bench to conduct a forensic audit of the matter.

The law officer Rizvi informed the bench that around 0.15 SIMS has been blocked involved in grey trafficking during August to September. He further informed the bench that 75 thousand calls were received through grey trafficking only in August and the number of calls lowered to 50 thousand in September. – The Nation

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