Baku Administrative Economic Court #1 chaired by Judge Elchin Mammadov held a hearing on ANS CM Broadcasting and Media Company’s (Radio) case against the National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) requesting the repeal of the NTRC’s decision of July 18 to cancel the radio’s licence and demanding indemnity in the amounts of 4,317,000 AZN for material damage, 355,000 AZN for loss of profit and 1,000,000 AZN for moral damage.
At the hearing, NTRC representative Nemat Javadov expressed his objection to the lawsuit. He noted that, according to the Law on TV-Radio Broadcasting, the licence may be terminated if a sanction is applied to the broadcaster for committing violations 3 times within a year.
ANS CM representative Ragif Mustafayev said that, according to the Law on Licences and Permits adopted in June, the right to issue licences or to take them away has been transferred to the Ministry of Economy. “This law clearly shows that the NTRC is not entitled to terminate ANS CM’s licence,” Mustafayev said.
NTRC representative Nemat Javadov replied that the adoption of the Law on Licences and Permits has not deprived the Law on TV-Radio Broadcasting of its legal force. “According to that law, the National Television and Radio Council has the right to make such a decision. The licence in the field of TV-radio broadcasting is granted solely on a competition basis. And the agency holding this competition is the National Television and Radio Council. The Ministry of Economy maintains a register of licences,” Nemat Javadov said.
ANS CM representatives filed a motion to restore the radio’s broadcast and to let the radio’s advertising and sponsorship contractor ANS Commerce Company to join the case as the third party as a temporary remedy until the case’s conclusion.
The court denied the motions.
The judge announced the final decision of the court. According to the decision, the lawsuit was deemed inadmissible in the part concerning 1,000,000-AZN compensation for moral damage and was rejected in the parts relating to the annulment of the decision to cancel the radio’s licence and the payment of compensation in the amounts of 4,317,000 AZN in material damage and 355,000 AZN for loss of profit.
Background: On July 18, the NTRC adopted the decision to terminate the validity of the special permit (license) #TR100 issued to ANS CM Broadcasting and Media Company on 25 October 2013, in accordance with Article 23.2.8 of the Law of Azerbaijan Republic on Television and Radio Broadcasting. ANS CM’s special permit (license) was revoked citing several instances of violation of the requirements of the legislation during the broadcast.
ANS first appealed to Baku Court of Appeal with regard to the issue, but the court advised that the matter be heard by Baku Administrative Economic Court #1.