Wednesday, July 19, 2006

SC wants to hear Media Minister - The Daily Mirror 19th July 2006

The Supreme Court yesterday directed that the Media Minister and the TRC (Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) should be heard before proceeding with the fundamental rights violation case filed by SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd.

When the matter came up before the Bench comprising Justices Shirani A. Bandaranayake, Raja Fernando and Andrew Somawansa, President's Counsel D.S. Wijesinghe appearing for the Minister of Media and Mass Communication informed court that he had a proxy from the Minister. He said the Minister wished to intervene in the matter.

Court was of the view that before making a decision in this matter, court should hear the Minister and re-fixed the hearing to August 1.

Petitioner SonicNet cited Chief Inspector U.K. Mahindadasa, Superintendent of Police A.R. Vaidyalankara and Sub Inspector L. Tilak Bandara, all of Police Commercial Crime Unit-II, the IGP and the Attorney General as respondents.

Petitioner states that the Minister issued an External Gateway Operator License (EGO License) to operate until January 31, 2013 on the recommendation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission. Since May 2005, it has been responsible for providing several television channels such as BBC World, CNN News and National Geographic Channel to over 20,000 homes throughout the island.

The petitioner alleged that on June 6, the first three respondents wrongfully sealed and seized its equipment and prevented it from using its equipment and operating its services.

Petitioner pleaded that the respondents claimed that they sealed and seized the premises under an order from the Magistrate. Petitioner contends that the Magistrate did not order or authorise to do so in his order and search warrant.

Petitioner is asking the court to grant compensation of Rs 100 million and an interim order directing the respondents to remove the seal and seizure of its equipment and not to obstruct it from using the said premises.

Additional Solicitor General Sathiya Hettige appearing on behalf of the respondents submitted that the EGO License that was issued to the petitioner permitted only to operate international telecommunication services by using the satellite. The police officers obtained a search warrant from the Magistrate of Colombo and executed the search warrant in respect of the premises at No 83 where Communique Broadband Network Pvt Ltd and CBN Sat Pvt Ltd were operating television broadcasting services to the subscribers by using the satellite without a valid license under the Rupavahini Corporation Act. He further said 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.

President's Counsel Romesh de Silva with Sugath Caldera, Riad Ameen and Evaj de Silva instructed by G. G. Arulpragasam appeared for the petitioner. Additional Solicitor General Sathya Hettige with Senior State Counsel Sumathi Dharmawardana appeared for the respondents.

By S.S. Selvanayagam and T. Farook Thajudeen

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 ????