Caricel continues legal fight despite Court of Appeal ruling

Caricel continues legal fight despite Court of Appeal ruling


Jamaican operator Caricel is continuing to fight a shutdown of its operations amid its ongoing legal battles in court, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

The operator, a subsidiary of Symbiote Investments Limited, recently lost its appeal to stop a decision by Andrew Wheatley (pictured), the country’s minister of science, energy and technology, to revoke its telecommunications licences with the Court of Appeal.

At the time, Wheatley claimed that Symbiote had not complied with all the conditions that were required of its domestic mobile spectrum licence, including failure to address some outstanding fees. Based on recommendations from the Office of Utilities Regulation, Wheatley advised that its telecoms licences be revoked.

In response, as reported by Capacity, Caricel applied for an injunction to block the decision with the Supreme Court. There were also fears of a growing Chinese ‘influence’ on the company. On January 24 2017, the Supreme Court ruled against Symbiote, refusing its application for an injunction and allowing the government to carry out an investigation into its services.

This latest refusal from the Court of Appeal also includes Caricel’s request that a stay be granted until it applies for permission to appeal to the Privy Council.

In a statement, Caricel said that it has been “preparing for this eventuality since December 6, 2016 when it was first advised that its operations constituted a ‘threat to the national security of a foreign country'". It also maintained that it has consistently followed all the necessary legal requirements and regulations and will exercise its right to appeal to the Privy Council against this latest ruling. The company is said to be ‘confident’ that it will have its licences restored. 

Caricel won its licences back in 2016, at the time the Office of the Contractor General, had recommended that the mobile licence should not be issued and that the licences previously granted be revoked.

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