Wednesday, July 19, 2006

CBNSat : TRC to be heard - Daily News 19th July 2006

COLOMBO: The Supreme Court yesterday decided that the Media Minister and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) should be heard before the application for Leave to Proceed is considered on a Fundamental Rights application filed by SonicNet Technologies and CBNsat and fixed the matter for support again on August 1.

The decision was a sequel to an application made by President's Counsel D.S. Wijesinghe on behalf of Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, who sought to intervene in the application. The Court allowed the application for the intervention.

The Bench comprised Justice Dr. (Mrs.) Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice Raja Fernando and Justice Andrew Somawansa.

Petitioner Sonic Net Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. cited four officers attached to the Criminal Investigation Department including Inspector U.L. Mahindadasa and the Attorney General as respondents.

The Petitioner in his petition stated that he obtained a license to operate an External Gateway Operator License under Section 17 of Sri Lanka Telecommunications Act on 28th February 2003 by the Mass Communication Minister on the recommendation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka. The Petitioner further stated that he was responsible for providing several television channels to viewers.

It was submitted on 6th June 2006 the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Respondents, namely CID Police Officers, wrongfully and unlawfully without any right seized the Petitioner's telecommunications equipment and prevented the Petitioner from operating its services and pleaded the petitioner's fundamental rights as guaranteed by Articles 12, 12(1) and 14(1)(g) of the Constitution have been violated.

Sathya Hettige, PC Additional Solicitor General appearing on behalf of the Respondents submitted that the External Gateway Operator License that was issued to the Petitioner permitted the Petitioner only to operate an international telecommunications service by using a satellite and he further submitted to court that the Police Officers obtained a search warrant from the Colombo Magistrate and executed the search warrant in respect of the premises where Communique Broadband Network Pvt. Ltd was operating television broadcasting services to the subscribers by using a satellite without a valid license under the Rupavahini Corporation Act.

Hettige further submitted that the execution of the search warrant as ordered by the Magistrate did not constitute an administrative or executive action and therefore was a judicial act which did not attract the provisions of Article 126 of the Constitution.

He told court that the Petitioner filed revision papers against the order of the Magistrate and sealing of the equipment by the Police and the High Court Judge refused to grant the stay order. The Revision application is still pending, and there is no fundamental rights violation as alleged by the Petitioner.

When the above application was supported by the President's Counsel for the Petitioner, an application was made to court by Mr. D.S. Wijesinghe, PC and Mr. Palitha Kumarasinghe, PC that the Media Minister who is the license issuing authority under the Rupavahini Corporation Act and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission should be made necessary parties to the application.

After submissions by both Counsel, Justice Shirani Bandaranaike, Justice Raja Fernando and Justice Andrew Somawansa decided that the Media Minister and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission should be heard before the application for Leave to Proceed is considered and fixed the matter for support again on 1st August 2006.

Romesh de Silva, PC, with Sugath Caldera instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared for the petitioner.

ASG Saththya Hettige PC appeared for the respondents.

The hearing was fixed for August 1.

1 comment:

Lisura said...

I think it's all gone back to the start where things have began.

Now the court says TRC and the Media Ministry to be heard on the August 1st.

This will be a never ending story till CBNSat shuts down. That's the ultimate goal of the people who started this whole scenario.

Even the subscribers too seem to be frustrated now. They even don't care about the money they spent. We can't be wasting our time on this we have 1000 of other things in life.

Interesting to see the page no. 25 of todays Daily news. TRC have put 2 notices with regard to 2 companies which violated the agreement with TRC. Namely the companies are 2 ISP's Lanka Global Online and Pan Lanka. According to the notice these 2 companies were not complying to the TRC regulations from 2002.

I hope TRC would have given notices to them in several occasions and now they have openly given them a time frame to comply with the regulations. Failing to do so TRC will initiate legal action against these companies and probably seal them preventing their business operations.

This is the way TRC has to act if anyone is commiting something against TRC regulations.

I beleive the same should apply to CBNSat and LBN if they have violated anything with regard to the licences they had.

But it was not the same for CBNSat and LBN.

WHY ????