CSN li­cence: Court says sta­tus quo to re­main till Mar.17

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - BY S.S. SELVANAYAGAM

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.

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