Another rejection for Caricel

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THE efforts of telecommunications operator Symbiote Investments have reached a dead end as the United Kingdom-based Privy Council has refused the company’s application for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal judgement on the revocation of its six telecommunications licences.

The Privy Council’s July 21 decision brings to a close the case that has been in the courts since 2018, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) reported yesterday.

Symbiote, which trades as Caricel, had applied to the Supreme Court in 2018 for leave to apply for judicial review of a decision by the then minister of technology, to revoke the licences that were previously issued to it on the advice of the OUR.

The Supreme Court denied Symbiote’s application for leave in December 2018, and in September 2019 the Court of Appeal also refused Symbiote’s application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council, awarding costs to the minister and the regulator.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the company was not authorised to own or operate a facility, nor permitted to provide telecommunications or other specified services to the public under the Telecommunications Act.

Symbiote went ahead and applied directly to the Privy Council for special leave to appeal.

“The Privy Council stated that, having considered written submissions from Symbiote, the minister and the OUR, permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision is refused because ‘the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance, which ought to be considered by the Judicial Committee at this time’,” the OUR said in a release yesterday.

In February 2018, Symbiote announced the acquisition of its majority shares by South African company Involution Limited, under an October 2017 sales agreement.

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