Justice Nilson Naves, president of the Federal High Court ruled Friday, July 11, that the national consumer price index (IPCA) must be used to reset the fixed-line telephone tariff throughout Brazil. Brazil?s second-highest court issued the verdict in support of an injunction granted by Judge Jorge Luís Girão Barreto of the 2nd Federal Court of Ceará. By ratifying the lower court?s ruling, the High Court hopes to resolve jurisdictional conflicts between state and federal courts. Justice Naves instructed the Federal Public Prosecutor to submit an opinion by July 30.
The many injunctions granted by courts in other states to consumer groups are all suspended by the High Court ruling, as is the tariff increase awarded by Anatel at the end of June.
The telcos must now wait until the High Court hears the full case, which won?t happen until August since the Judiciary is in recess. Only the federal courts of Ceará are authorized to hear petitions for injunctions.
Communications Minister Miro Teixeira issued a short comment via his press office. ?I credit this victory to President Lula,? he said.
The Ceará injunction ratified by the High Court (STJ) determines the following tariff increases: 14.34% for residential subscriptions and pulses; 23.95% for non-residential and trunk lines; and 6.04% for domestic long-distance calls.
On average this is 43% less than the increase granted by Anatel, based on the general price index (IGP-DI) specified in the terms of the telcos? license. The IGP-DI index rose 30.05% in the 12 months to June, compared with 17.24% for the IPCA.