YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


THE SUIT OF SIX RADIO COMPANIES VERSUS THE GOVERNMENT REJECTED

On May 11 at the RA Commercial Court the hearings on the suit of “VEM”, “Impulse”,
“City FM”, “Ardzagank”, Radio “HAY”, “FM 105.5” radio companies versus the Government
of Armenia completed. As reported, the six radio companies demanded to abolish
the act of a state body, namely, clause 1 of the Resolution of the RA Government
No.946-N of July 6, 2006. According to this clause, the RA Ministry of Transportation
and Communication receives the authority to define and approve the annual fee
for servicing a broadcasting frequency, which, in the opinion of the plaintiffs,
runs contrary to the Constitution and the legislation of Armenia. In accordance
with the decree of the Minister of Transportation and Communication of November
1, 2006, the procedure for the payment and the new tariffs for servicing frequencies
allocated to radio companies were introduced. Following this decree, the Republican
Center of Telecommunications demanded to make the payment for 2006 before December
25. On January 25, 2007 the radio companies challenged this decision in court,
with the argumentation that the Minister’s decree violated the legislation demands,
primarily Article 9 of the RA Law “On Legal Acts” (according to which “the kinds,
amounts and the procedures of tax, duty and other mandatory payments made by
natural and legal persons” must be defined “by law only”). Hearings on the case
started on February 27 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, February
23 – March 1, 2007
).

At the session of May 11 the Commercial Court rejected the suit ruling that
the Government has not exceeded its authority. As YPC was told by the plaintiffs’
attorney Olga Safarian, the radio companies intend to challenge this ruling
with the RA Court of Cassation.