Supreme Court to inquire State television abuse
[TamilNet, Friday, 09 November 2001, 18:00 GMT]
The Supreme Court Friday decided to inquire into the fundamental rights case filed by the Deputy Leader of the main opposition United National Party Mr.Karu Jayasuriya against the State owned Independent Television Network Ltd (ITN) and four others challenging the telecasting of programmes which, according to him, would promote the candidature of the ruling People's Alliance and claiming one hundred million rupees as damages for violating his fundamental rights.
The FR application came up for scrutiny before the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice N.Sarath Silva, Justices Shiranee Bandaranaike and Asoka de Silva.
The Supreme Court granted leave to the petitioner to proceed with the case and fixed the hearing for November 29.
The petitioner Karu Jayasuriya has cited the ITN, its Chairman Mr.Newton Gunaratne, People's Alliance General Secretary Mr.D.M.Jayaratne, the Commissioner of Elections and the Attorney General as respondents.
The petitioner states in his application that the seventeenth amendment to the Constitution has prohibited the utilizing of any movable or immovable property of the State to promote a candidate or candidature of a political party or prevent a candidate or candidature of a political party for the purpose of holding a free and fair election.
The petitioner has prayed the Supreme Court to grant him leave to proceed with his application. He also prayed the court for interim relief against the first and second respondents to stay the continuance of telecast of all grossly exaggerated, misleading, inaccurate and false news items, interviews and programmes.
The petitioner has further begged court to issue an order on the respondents to follow the lawful directions and instructions of the Elections Commissioner.