Rock radio station Cayrock has applied for a judicial review in Grand Court to allow it to stay on the air.
The broadcasting regulatory body, the Information and Communications Technology Authority, has refused to renew the station’s licence unless it moves its broadcasting tower out of George Town where it claims tests have shown it is interfering with the signals of other FM stations.
Stuart Diamond, the legal representative of the owner of Cayrock, dms Broadcasting Ltd., confirmed, ‘dms is seeking a judicial review of the ICTA decision,’ but would not comment further as the issue is now before the courts.
The judicial review application seeks to quash a decision by the regulatory body’s board of directors on 1 October to ‘revoke, amend or otherwise fail to grant or renew [dms Broadcasting’s] licence to broadcast on the 96.5FM frequency until on or about 30 June 2014’.
The application states that it wants the court to declare that the ICTA’s decision and its direction to the station to cease broadcasting were ‘erroneous in law, unreasonable, contrary to the principles of natural justice and/or not proportionate’.
It seeks a court order that any time limit the regulatory authority imposed on the station to be extended until the outcome of the application. The ICTA ordered the station to cease broadcasting from last Monday night.
The station is also seeking damages and costs, according to the judicial review application filed on Tuesday.
According to the application, the station argues that the authority’s decision was contrary to the Information and Communication Technology Law and the ICTA Interference and Equipment Standardisation regulations.
The application states that the decision of the ICTA and its direction to cease broadcasting with notice of less than 48 weekday hours was ‘manifestly unreasonable’.
It goes on to state that the ICTA board of directors did not hear from dms Broadcasting before it took its decision; it had paid all its relevant fees to the authority; and ‘the consequent loss of revenue and likely displacement of staff and resources [is] manifestly disproportionate to any alleged failure or conduct on the part of [dms Broadcasting].’
The station is also seeking an interim order to permit it to continue broadcasting on 96.5FM on the same terms as its previous licence, pending a hearing of the matter in court. It also wants an injunction against the regulatory authority from preventing the station from broadcasting before the matter is dealt with by the court.
The application is scheduled to be heard at Grand Court today [Monday].
PULLOUT: ‘The consequent loss of revenue and likely displacement of staff and resources [is] manifestly disproportionate to any alleged failure or conduct on the part of [dms Broadcasting].’ – Application for leave to apply for judicial review filed by dms Broadcasting