We think that the applicants, i.e. the Diocese and the Bishop of Port-Louis, have locus standi and that they have a case that can be defended in court! This is essentially the conclusion of Justices Rita Teelock and Shameem Hamuth-Laulloo. They granted leave to proceed with a judicial review of two decisions of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, dated 18 February and 18 March.
The case concerns the Christmas message of the then Bishop of Port-Louis, Cardinal Maurice Piat, which was censored when it was broadcast on 25 December 2021.
A complaint was lodged with the IBA. But the complainants are not satisfied with the way it was handled, particularly in terms of the decision-making process. This is why they have applied for judicial review of the two decisions, i.e. the rejection of the complaint because the case was no longer topical and the refusal of an application for review of the first rejection by the Independent Broadcasting Review Panel.
The action was brought against the IBA with the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation as co-defendant. Both had opposed the action by the Diocese and the Bishop because there was no arguable case. The IBA and the MBA argued that the complaint was filed after the Bishop’s message was broadcast in its entirety by the MBC on 29 December 2021.
Cardinal Piat has meanwhile been replaced by Mgr Jean Michaël Durhône as Bishop of Port-Louis.