YPC Weekly Newsletter

2002


"A1+" CASE: THE COURT TOOK THE SIDE OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TELEVISION AND RADIO

On May 2 the RA Commercial Court issued its decision on the suit of “Meltex” LLC, the founder of “A1+” TV company, who was a month ago refused a broadcast license. As it has been reported, on April 25 the RA Commercial Court did not secure the suit of “Meltex” versus the National Commission on Television and Radio demanding to annul the competitions on TV and radio broadcast licensing (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, April 20-26, 2002). A week later the public was able to study the justification for the court decision.

It is the nearly the word-by-word similarity of the arguments by judge Nakhshun Tavaratsian and the attorneys of the respondent against some items of the suit that catches one’s eye first of all. In fact, the attorneys of the plaintiff were proving the duty of the National Commission on Television and Radio to strictly follow the letter of the law. The attorneys of the respondent, on their behalf, justified the right of the Commission to freely interpret some of the legal norms referring to organizing and holding competitions. In particular, the provision of the RA Law “On Television and Radio” about including data on “the technical facilities, equipment used” by the applicant was replaced by the Commission with the data on “the possible technical equipment and facilities”. The stipulation of the Law to consider the “professionalism of the staff” was not met in case of the rival of “A1+”, who won the competition: there were no appropriate data in the proposal. The proposal also did not mention the date when the broadcasts would start, if the license was granted. Yet, the Commission simply ignored these obvious incongruities and preferred this proposal, refusing a license to a TV company that had been truly operational and successful for 5 years.

The court took the side of the National Commission on Television and Radio. Meanwhile, “Meltex” intends to challenge the decision by the court of primary jurisdiction with the RA Court of Cassation and expressed its resolution to address the European Court of Human Rights, in case of another failure.