CSN licence: Court says status quo to remain till Mar.17
The Court of Appeal yesterday further extended its order to maintain the existing state of affairs till March 17 in respect of the licenses issued by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to Carlton Sports Network (CSN) to operate four channels.
The Bench comprised of Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda (CA President) and S.thurairajah fixed the matter for argument on March 16.
The Court of Appeal on December 12 granted time till January 17 to the Mass Media Ministry Secretary and TRC to file objections against the writ petition filed by CSN challenging the decision to revoke its Television Broadcasting Licence. The objections were filed accordingly.
The CSN cited -- Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage, Minister Gayantha Karunatillake, TRC and its Director General Sunil S. Sirisena -- as the respondents.
Sanjeeva Jayawardane PC with Kaushalya Molligoda, Lakmini Warusavithane and Charitha Rupasinghe instructed by Nisanka Wijesinghe appeared for the CSN. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam appeared for the State.
The CSN stated it was engaged in operating a terrestrial television network and claimed it had not violated any of the terms and conditions contained in its licence
The CSN stated it was engaged in operating a terrestrial television network and claimed it had not violated any of the terms and conditions contained in its licence. It said the revocation of its licence was a pre-emptive strike, without even affording it the basic right being issued in some form of show cause letter or indicating the allegations against it.
The CSN said the right to be heard was an indispensable, nonnegotiable, inalienable and an indivisible right and a safeguard.
It said the revocation by the Media Ministry Secretary is utterly and beyond his legal power or authority and illegal, arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable and violates the basic principles of natural justice.
It is seeking Court to quash the decision taken by the Ministry Secretary and restrain him from interfering with the operation, function and broadcasts of its television channel.