Two broadcasting agencies, Freedom Radio Inc and Multi Technology Vision (MTV) on Friday filed legal proceedings in the High Court against the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) over a decision to impose fines for alleged infringements.Separate applications were filed by the two agencies, questioning a decision taken by the GNBA in relation to alleged infractions on their part and furthermore, the lawful appointment of their governing Board to appoint a committee to hear the matter.The applications were filed by Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall, while the respondents were listed as the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) and the Attorney General.General Managers of the applicants, Raymond Singh for Multi Technology Vision (MTV) and Raymon Cummings for Freedom Radio, made their applications on the basis that no Governing Board of Directors of the GNBA was lawfully appointed for the year 2019-2020.In the case of Freedom Radio, a letter dated July 12 and sent by the first respondent, informed the applicant that it had observed breaches of the broadcasting guidelines. The content broadcasted on a programme called “Free Talk”, which aired on June 4, 2019, was allegedly “in contravention with the Sections of the Guidelines which states: Controversial or offensive references to opponents shall be avoided.”In another letter, the applicant was invited to a hearing on July 26, 2019 “concerning an infraction on June 4, 2019”.After the hearing, they were informed that the alleged infraction will be taken against the governing Board of Directors. The applicant was invited to another hearing on September 25.In a letter dated August 21, the applicant was also informed of a breach in the broadcasting guidelines on a programme called “The Chat” which was aired on July 11, 2019. They were invited on September 17 to address the infraction.The hearings pertaining to both infractions were heard on September 25, 2019, before a hearing committee established by the GNBA. On October 2, they were asked via a letter to pay a fine of $75,000 along with a written statement from the broadcaster, stating that the host would not repeat the infraction.Meanwhile, for MTV, a letter was sent by the GNBA on March 21, informing them that an infringement was detected during a February 2 airing of one of their programmes called “Viewpoint”.On April 12, the applicant was informed of another infringement detected on another programme titled: “On The Precipice of a Constitutional Crisis” which was aired on March 21.By letter dated June 3, the applicant submitted a written response to the GNBA pertaining to several identified purported infringements. But on July 12, they were notified by the authority of a breach of the Broadcasting Guidelines in the content broadcasted on a programme called “Ed Live”, which aired on the June 8.On September 25, the applicant was invited to a hearing on September 25, concerning the three infractions. In the October 2 letter, they were slapped with a fine of $150,000.As such, the applicants are requesting an order to quash the decision of a hearing committee that was established by the Governing Board, on the grounds that the Board was not lawfully appointed, and because the said decision was “unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, unenforceable, invalid, irrational, unreasonable, capricious, arbitrary, null, void and of no effect”.“Effective from the 1st February 2017, the members to the Governing Board were appointed by Prime Minister Moses Nagamatoo for a term of two years. Since the expiration of the abovementioned appointment on the 31st January 2019, no Governing Board of Directors has been appointed or reappointed,” proceedings filed in the court stated.The document states that the decision, which was disbursed via a letter on October 2, 2019, by the Board Secretary, Violet Boyal, and addressed to the applicants “is in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers, contrary to and in violation of Article 144 (8) of the Constitution of Guyana, unlawful, void, illegal and of no effect” and on the grounds “that the decision is ultra vires, capricious, arbitrary, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect”.Also, the applicants argued that the committee is “not a tribunal prescribed by law for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation as provided for and contemplated by Article 144 (8) of the Constitution of Guyana”.The requests called for a declaration that the decisions of the hearing committee which were addressed to the applicants are in violation of their rights and freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 146 of the Constitution, and in violation of their right and freedom of protection of the law as prescribed by Article 144 (8).
“We have removed, so far, over 50 units of non-compactable waste from a number of communities, namely Flanker, Cornwall Courts, King Street, Barracks Road [and] Hart Street,” Mr. Gilchrist said. Story Highlights Public Cleansing Inspector at Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited, a subsidiary of the NSWMA, Patrick Gilchrist, said that priority will be given to the business district of Montego Bay. The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has implemented measures to address the expected increase in garbage in St. James during the Christmas period into the New Year.Public Cleansing Inspector at Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited, a subsidiary of the NSWMA, Patrick Gilchrist, said that priority will be given to the business district of Montego Bay.“Normally, over this period, we have an increase of waste; [as such], we have engaged five mini compactor trucks. These trucks will mostly work in the downtown district of Montego Bay with the bigger units… to minimize congestion.“We have engaged 15 additional sweepers in the downtown area and have implemented a moving team around the parish to do work in a number of areas, to include King Street, Barracks Road, Hart Street, Brandon Hill and especially the Elegant Corridor,” Mr. Gilchrist said.He was speaking at the regular monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation on Thursday (December 13).Mr. Gilchrist said that two large garbage trucks have been dispatched to serve the communities of Rose Heights, Farm Heights, Granville, Rosemount and Mount Salem, in a bid to improve on the collection cycle.“We are in the process of increasing our night collections in a number of communities, that will help to free up some of the units in the day, so that we can reach more of our communities,” he noted.In the meantime, Mr. Gilchrist said that the NSWMA’s Bulky Waste Pre-Christmas Clean-up drive, which started on November 24, will continue into 2019.“We have removed, so far, over 50 units of non-compactable waste from a number of communities, namely Flanker, Cornwall Courts, King Street, Barracks Road [and] Hart Street,” Mr. Gilchrist said.These include old stoves, washing machines and refrigerators. “We have engaged 15 additional sweepers in the downtown area and have implemented a moving team around the parish to do work in a number of areas, to include King Street, Barracks Road, Hart Street, Brandon Hill and especially the Elegant Corridor,” Mr. Gilchrist said.