By Alisa Odenheimer
The High Court of Justice yesterday refused a plea from
(Nasdaq, LSE:PTNR) to suspend the operating license of rival Mirs, until a final ruling on the license's legality.
Justice Yaacov Turkel yesterday ruled against the petition by Partner to issue a temporary injunction preventing rival Mirs from functioning as a cellular operator until a final ruling. Turkel set June 11 as the date for a hearing on the petition.
Partner petitioned the High Court against the temporary operating license former Communications Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer granted to Mirs.
Partner argued that the license was improper on two main grounds. One is that the ministry granted the license without a tender. the other is that it did not charge Mirs for its license, thus violating the principle of equality.
According to Partner, the impropriety was compounded by the fact that the license had been granted on February 5, just one day before the special prime ministerial election, after which the minister was expected to leave his post.
Ben-Eliezer's representative responded that there was nothing improper about the minister's decision. The ministry had been considering the issue for some time and the decision was taken without any consideration of the political process that led to the election of a new prime minister, Ben-Eliezer's lawyer told the court.
According to Ben-Eliezer, leaving the decision to the new communications minister would have caused unnecessary delay.
Ben-Eliezer's representative said that the ministry had decided to charge Mirs a fee, the magnitude of which is still under review.