Thursday, October 27, 2005

Govt issues 24-hour ultimatum to Kantipur FM

Kathmandu, Oct 26 - In what looks like a desperate final assault against Kantipur FM radio station, the government Wednesday gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the station to cancel its operating license.

In a "confidential" letter sent to the FM, the Ministry of Information and Communications has said "as the station has been found broadcasting news-oriented programmes despite the promulgation of the media ordinance, against Section 5 of the National Broadcasting Act 2049 BS, why the FM's operating license should not be canceled as per Section 8 (1) of the same Act?"

The government has said it has given the FM a "chance" to furnish written clarification within 24 hours mentioning reasons, if any, along with the necessary proof establishing the reasons, as to why the station's license should not be cancelled.

The Ministry has said that it will cancel the FM's license if it is not satisfied with the clarification or if no clarification is furnished within the 24-hour deadline.

Earlier on Monday, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel, had ordered the government to furnish its written replies over the promulgation of the controversial media ordinance and its mid-night raid on Kantipur FM.

Issuing a show cause notice to the government, in response to writ petitions filed by nine professional organizations and Kantipur FM against the recently promulgated media ordinance, the Chief Justice had assured lawyers and professionals present in the court chamber that the government would not take action against FM radios.


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