Oct 28, 2011 News
Lawyers for television station owners, Chandranarine Sharma and Savitree Singh, have moved to the High Court against the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (ACB), to have the four-month suspension against CNS TV Channel 6 quashed.
The Order of Nisi of Certiorari was granted against the ACB by Chief Justice Ian Chang. The order states that the ACB should show cause why a Writ or Order of Certiorari should not be issued to bring up to the Honourable Court and quash firstly, its findings that the applicants were in breach of Regulation 23A of the Wireless Telegraphy Amendment.
Secondly, the writ is asking the ACB to show if it was lawfully constituted as is required by regulation 23B.
The writ is claiming that the ACB lacked legal authority and its decisions were unfair, unreasonable, unlawful, irrational, and procedurally improper, in breach of natural justice, ultra vires, null and void and of no legal effect.
This matter is returnable for November 4, before the Chief Justice.
The suspension came on the advice given to the President by the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting regarding a commentary by Anthony Vieira, which was aired on the television station on May 4, last.
The ACB had originally recommended an eight-month suspension, Sharma said, but President Bharrat Jagdeo said that he was being “lenient” by cutting the recommended suspension time in half. Jagdeo holds the portfolio of Minister of Information.
The Head of State in mid-July said that the broadcast in question contained statements which were reprehensible to the constitution.
Kaieteur News understands that the ACB had determined that Sharma’s licence should be suspended after the station aired the Vieira commentary which made certain allegations that Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission, Bishop Juan Edghill, found disturbing.
The television owner had apologised, but Edghill, nevertheless, filed a motion against both Sharma and Vieira, seeking more than $50M in damages.
Lawyers for Edghill, Anil Nandlall, Euclin Gomes, and Manoj Narayan, in their motion had stated that their client had suffered “tremendous embarrassment, distress and ridicule” by the commentary.
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