NEWS

Fiji Sun complying with MIDA decree, says lawyer

The High Court in Lautoka heard that Fiji Sun did not breach the constitutional rights accorded to Paul Malo Radrodro, as alleged in his constitutional redress claim. It comes after
20 Sep 2018 11:46
Fiji Sun complying with MIDA decree, says lawyer
Paul Malo Radrodro.

The High Court in Lautoka heard that Fiji Sun did not breach the constitutional rights accorded to Paul Malo Radrodro, as alleged in his constitutional redress claim.

It comes after Mr Radrodro filed a civil case earlier this year seeking constitutional redress because his advertisements had been rejected by two media companies (Fiji Sun and Fiji Times).

Fiji Sun lawyer Emmanuel Narayan delivered a strong argument before Justice Anare Tuilevuka yesterday.

On December 28, 2017, Mr Radrodro requested to place a paid advertisement in the Fiji Sun newspaper which was to be issued on January 2, 2018.

The advertisement was about a patent relating to cancer treatment through blood transfusion to be held by Mr Radrodro.

Mr Narayan, of Patel Sharma Lawyers, said after seeing the contents of the advertisement, the office requested for additional documentaries to verify the truth about the advertisement.

Mr Narayan emphasised that the purpose was to ensure that misleading information is not published by the news organisation.

The applicant, Mr Radrodro, did not provide any supporting documentation in this case to verify the accuracy of the claims.

“Therefore based on that, Fiji Sun decided not to publish the advertisement as there were no supporting documentation to confirm the same being legal, decent, honest and truthful,” Mr Narayan said.

Mr Narayan said that everything had to be in compliance with the Media Industry Development Act as well.

Fiji Sun is responsible for ensuring that all advertisements comply with the Media Code of Ethics and practice and that all advertisements must not contain material which might deceive or mislead people about any product or service,” he said.

Fiji Sun cannot abuse the trust of the consumers or audience to exploit their lack of experience or knowledge without justification as statutorily required by the Media Industry Development Act 2010 and incorrectly print the said advertisement,” he said.

Another grounds for defense was on defective application. Mr Narayan said that on January 16, 2018, the Fiji Sun Lautoka office was served with a Notice of Motion and Affidavit by Mr Radrodro.

“We submit that the Notion of Motion filed by the applicant is defective and is not in conformity of the High Court (Constitutional Redress) Rules 2015,” he said.

In addition, Mr Narayan said Mr Radrodro’s affidavit did not have merit.

“We submit that the application filed by the applicant has not shown any evidence of how his constitutional rights have been breached,” he said.

Mr Narayan also added that Mr Radrodro failed to notify them at least three days before as stated in the law.

“We submit that the respondent did not in any way advise or notify us of its intention in filing a constitutional redress application thus has breached the rules required under the High Court Rules 2015.”

Mr Narayan said an alternative remedy was available under the Media Industry Development Act 2010 whereby Mr Radrodro could have sought help from tribunals, however Mr Radrodro had not followed that.

Fiji Times lawyer Ronald Singh also made submissions saying that Mr Radrodro had not complied with the patents act.

Mr Radrodro represented himself.

After hearing the counsels, Justice Tuilevuka has made direction that the Office of the Attorney-General file their affidavit within 21 days and any reply thereafter in 14 days if necessary.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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