TSTT wants to take $26m lawsuit to Privy Council

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TSTT House – FILE PHOTO

LOCAL telecom provider TSTT and its internet service provider subsidiary Amplia are hoping for permission to challenge a ruling of the Appeal Court at the Privy Council.

The Telecommunications Services of TT (TSTT) and Amplia have filed an application for conditional leave to challenge the ruling of the local court in a lawsuit brought by the Telecommunication Authority (TATT).

In March 2021, TATT filed a claim against TSTT and Amplia seeking to recover their $26,467,445 in unpaid contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF), a national fund to develop internet connectivity in rural communities.

On Monday, TSTT and Amplia’s application came up for hearing before Justice of Appeal Gregory Smith, Malcolm Holdip and Vasheist Kokaram.

It has been adjourned to November 8, after TSTT’s lead attorney, Martin Daly, SC, asked to be given an opportunity to put in written submissions “in the interest of fairness.” as TATT had done so.

The authority’s lead attorney Deborah Peake, SC, said she was disappointed and had hoped the hearing would be held on Monday.

The judges granted TSTT’s request, with Smith admitting the court wanted to give it “mature consideration,” as substantial sums of money are involved.

In June, the Appeal Court ruled on TATT’s procedural appeal, holding a High Court judge was wrong to dismiss its case at a preliminary state.

In a preliminary ruling in February, Justice Carol Gobin upheld TSTT’s challenge and

struck out the lawsuit, as she ruled she did not have the jurisdiction to hear it.

However, the Appeal Court reversed the ruling and referred the lawsuit back to Gobin.

TATT was also represented by Ravi Heffes-Doon and Rajesh Ramoutar. Christopher Sieuchand and Sonnel David-Longe appeared alongside Daly for TSTT and Amplia.