26 Mar 2004

Fiji court rules for FBC in Hindi programme row

1:26 pm on 26 March 2004

The Suva High Court has ruled in favour of the state-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation's application for a judicial review of the government's award of a major Hindi language broadcasting contract to a private company.

The corporation's news service reports that Justice Filimoni Jitoko has ordered a stay on the Major Tender Board's decision to award the 450,000 US dollar contract to commercial broadcaster Communications Fiji Limited.

The corporation's lawyers argue that the tender by Communications Fiji did not conform to the specifications issued by the government.

In opposing the application, state lawyers for the Major Tenders Board argued that the board's role was merely advisory, and the final decision lay with the ministry for information.

But granting the application for a judicial review, Justice Jjitoko said the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation had an arguable case and ordered a stay until the High Court decides on the application.

The date for the hearing will be fixed in June.