A Tbilisi-based legal advocacy group has filed a lawsuit to the court demanding scrapping government’s decision ordering to charge phone users for a service, which is not yet running.
Starting from January, 2012 fixed line and mobile phone operators charge their individual clients with 20 tetri (about USD 0.12) and organizations with 50 tetri (about USD 0.3) monthly as a tariff paid to the planned emergency call center run by the Ministry of Interior.
A single emergency phone number, 112, is planned to be launched this spring, but according to the government’s December 27, 2011 decree fixed line and mobile phone operators are charging clients from January. In case of mobile phone subscribers, the tariff does not apply to those who use mobile phone services worth of no more than GEL 5 monthly.
Citing data received under the freedom of information act from the Interior Ministry, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), the Tbilisi-based legal advocacy group, said that total fee collected in January-February, 2012 for yet to be launched 112 service reached GEL 1.4 million (about USD 857,000).
GYLA says in a statement on April 3, that practice of charging phone users for a service, which is not yet launched, is unlawful and constitutes to violation of consumer rights.
“GYLA has filed a lawsuit to the Tbilisi City Court, demanding to annul part of the governmental order number 489, which sets January 1, 2012 as the order’s enforcement date,” the group said in the statement.
GYLA also said that in its lawsuit the group was demanding to refund fees already paid by phone uses for yet to be launched 112 service.