Unregistered SIM deactivation imminent

About 1.3 million unregistered SIM cards in the country face imminent deactivation after the National Court today allowed the withdrawal of a case restraining NICTA from deactivating unregistered SIM cards.

The Waigani National Court allowed the withdrawal of the case after leave was sought by Member for Madang, Bryan Kramer.

Kramer asked for the withdrawal after the court refused to allow the injunctive orders of April 30 to be extended for a further seven days.

He sought an adjournment to obtain a copy of the decision (gazettal of regulation) by NICTA regarding deactivation to file his case.

However, the National Court refused the adjournment saying ample time of two weeks was given for Kramer to file the relevant proceeding, in compliance with orders given on April 30.

There was also no adequate explanation given for his non-compliance.

Another application by Kramer seeking to vary the orders of April 30 were not properly before court.

It was further submitted in court by NICTA that the Government has spent close to K1 million on awareness following the gazettal of the regulation on 22 April 2016, and ample time or grace period was given to operators to register subscribers.  

The deadline for deactivation was extended three times from December 2017 to 31 January 2018, and later further extended to 30 April, before an injunctive order was obtained by Kramer restraining NICTA from deactivating unregistered SIM cards.

Meanwhile, Kramer has indicated filing a judicial review proceeding challenging the government sanctioned exercise of SIM card registration.

(Bryan Kramer at the Waigani court today)

Sally Pokiton