NICTA restrained from deactivating SIM cards

NICTA and the state have been restrained from deactivating unregistered SIM cards nationwide after 12 midnight tonight until the case returns to court in two weeks’ time.

The consented orders of the National Court were issued just before lunch time today at Waigani.

Member for Madang Bryan Kramer filed an urgent application yesterday, and today sought the stay.

NICTA's lawyer was not in any position to respond to the urgent application as he was only served this morning.

Kramer filed the case on Sunday following a conversation with a pediatrician based at the Modilon General Hospital on Saturday.

He told the court that over 600 health workers in his electorate who rely on mobile service will be affected if the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards went ahead tonight.  

He also told the court some 80,000 subscribers in his electorate are yet to register their SIM cards.

As member, the health and welfare of his people will be affected for those who rely on this service.

He is taking issue with the mode and procedure by which NICTA, through telecommunication companies, is enforcing SIM card registration as majority of the populace are in remote areas in the country.

The court questioned the timing in which the proceeding was brought to court, Kramer said had he done so earlier, it would be premature.

He intends to file a judicial review challenging the government sanctioned exercise of SIM registration.

Kramer now has until 8 May to file the judicial review. NICTA and the state have till 14 May to file their response before the case returns to court on 15 May.

Sally Pokiton