Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation Act

Act 22 of 1982


Mauritius

Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation Act

Act 22 of 1982

  • Commenced on 9 October 1982
  • [This is the version of this document at 30 June 2017.]

1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation Act.

2. Interpretation

In this Act—"Board" means the Board established under section 6;"broadcast" means any radio communication, whether by sound or vi­sion, for reception by the public;"Capital Fund" means the Capital Fund specified under section 22;"Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Board;"committee" means any committee of the Board set up under section 11;"Corporation" means the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation estab­lished under section 3;"Council" means the General Advisory Council referred to in section 12;"Deputy Director-General" means the person appointed as such under section 14;"Director-General" means the person appointed as such under section 13;"employee" means any employee of the Corporation and includes the Director-General and the Deputy Director-General;"external broadcasting services" means broadcasting services for re­ception in countries other than Mauritius;"installations" includes aerials, masts, overhead wires, underground cables, apparatus for radio communication and electric generators;"interest", in relation to a member, includes any directorship, office, post, shareholding or any financial stake held by the member or his spouse;"local authority" has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act;"member" means a member of the Board and includes the Chairperson;"Minister" means the Minister to whom responsibility for the subject of information is assigned;"radio communication" means any telecommunication by means of Hertzian waves;"Revenue Fund" means the Revenue Fund specified under section 23;"right of reply" means a right of reply by means of a broadcast of the Corporation;"telecommunication" means the emission, transmission or reception of any sign, signal, writing, image, sound or any electromagnetic system;"television" means the transmission and reception by radio communi­cation of sound and image;"transmitting station" means a station for the transmission by radio communication of any matter;"wired distribution services" means the dissemination of broadcasting services by means of wires—(a)otherwise than within a single self-contained building; and(b)extending to or connecting at least 2 buildings.[S. 2 amended by Act 65 of 1985.]

3. Establishment of Corporation

(1)The Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation in existence on 9 August 1982 shall be deemed to have been established under this Act.
(2)The Corporation shall be a body corporate.
(3)The Corporation shall be a principal medium for the dissemination of information, education and entertainment and shall, subject to this Act and the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, be independent in the conduct of its day-to-day business and other activities.
[S. 3 amended by Act 29 of 2000.]

4. Objects of Corporation

The objects of the Corporation shall be to—
(a)provide independent and impartial—
(i)broadcasting services of information, education, culture and entertainment in Creole, Bhojpuri, French, English, Hindustani and such other languages spoken or taught in Mauritius as the Board may, with the approval of the Minis­ter, determine;
(ii)broadcasting services which cater for the aspirations, needs and tastes of the population in matters of informa­tion, education, culture and entertainment; and
(iii)external broadcasting services if the Minister so requires;
(b)ensure that its broadcasting services help towards the develop­ment of—
(i)the knowledge, sense of initiative, civic rights, duties and responsibilities of the population; and
(ii)cultural exchanges and a Mauritian consciousness and identity;
(c)ensure that its broadcasting programmes—
(i)maintain a high general standard both in respect of content and quality;
(ii)cover a wide range of subject-matter; and
(iii)appeal to the aspirations, needs and tastes of its audience;
(d)ensure that its broadcasting programmes, including advertisements—
(i)do not offend against decency, good taste or public moral­ity; and
(ii)are not likely to encourage or incite to crime, disorder or violence;
(e)give adequate coverage in its broadcasting programmes to news items, both local and foreign, in the languages specified in paragraph (a) and ensure to the best of its ability that the news bulletins broadcast are accurate and presented in an impartial manner;
(f)strike a fair balance in the allocation of broadcasting hours among various educational, cultural, political and religious standpoints;
(g)refrain from expressing its own opinion and observe neutrality and impartiality on—
(i)current affairs;
(ii)matters of public policy; or
(iii)matters of controversy relating to culture, politics, religion or any other subject, other than broadcasting;
(h)refrain from giving publicity to any person, product or service, other than in a commercial broadcasting advertisement, except in so far as it may be necessary for the broadcast of effective and informative programmes;
(i)provide advisory, consultancy or technical facilities to such pub­lic bodies as may be approved by the Minister and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board;
(j)make available the use of its radio and television studios for the preparation of broadcasting programmes to such broadcasting organisations as may be approved by the Minister on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board; and
(k)establish and maintain an archive containing any material rele­vant to its objects.

5. Powers of Corporation

For the purposes referred to in section 4, the Corporation may—
(a)broadcast any matter of public interest;
(b)exchange or prepare broadcasting programmes with other broad­casting organisations;
(c)collect news items and information in or from any part of the world in such manner as it thinks fit and subscribe to news agencies;
(d)promote the arts, literature and music by broadcasting the works of artists, writers, composers and musicians;
(e)organise, provide or subsidise concerts, shows and other forms of entertainment for broadcasting;
(f)accept for broadcasting, with or without charge, any advertise­ment or announcement which does not conflict with its policy and objects; and
(g)operate wired distribution services.

6. Establishment of Board

(1)The Corporation shall, subject to this Act, be administered and con­trolled by a Board which shall consist of—
(a)a Chairperson, to be appointed by the Minister;
(b)the supervising officer of the Ministry;
(c)the Director of Information Services;
(d)2 persons with experience in education and broadcasting, to be appointed by the Minister;
(e)one person with experience in administration and labour rela­tions, to be appointed by the Minister; and
(f)one person with experience in economics and finance, to be appointed by the Minister.
(2)Subject to subsection (4) and section 8, every ex officio member shall remain a member for as long as he holds the office by virtue of which he became a member and every other member shall hold office for not more than 2 years but shall be eligible for reappointment.
(3)A person who—
(a)is not a citizen of Mauritius;
(b)is an official member of a political party; or
(c)is a member of the Assembly,
shall not be qualified to be a member.
(4)A member shall be removed from office where—
(a)he has been appointed while being disqualified from holding office under subsection (3); or
(b)he engages during the term of his office in any kind of political activity.
(5)Every member shall, other than an ex officio member or an employee of the Corporation, be paid by the Corporation such remuneration or allowance as the Minister may approve.
[S. 6 amended by Act 65 of 1985; Act 2 of 1992.]

7. Powers of Board

The Board shall have all the powers of the Corporation and may, with the consent of the Minister, borrow such sums of money or raise such loans as it may require for the purposes of this Act.

8. Declaration of interest

(1)Every member shall, within 7 days of his appointment and thereafter once every year, submit to the Minister a written statement of any interest he holds or has acquired in any company, firm or undertaking which—
(a)provides any radio communication or advertising service; or
(b)deals in, manufactures, assembles or imports any apparatus or equipment for use in radio communication.
(2)Where a member holds, or acquires after his appointment, an interest in any company, firm or undertaking referred to in subsection (1), he shall, within 7 days of the holding or acquisition, give written notice of the fact to the Minister.
(3)The Minister may, in the public interest, remove from office any member who has submitted a statement under subsection (1) or a notice under subsec­tion (2).

9. Meetings of Board

(1)A meeting of the Board shall be held at least once every month at such time and place as the Chairperson may direct.
(2)
(3)Four members shall constitute a quorum.
[S. 9 amended by Act 65 of 1 985.]

10. Attendance of Director-General

The Director-General shall attend every meeting of the Board and may take part in its deliberations but he shall not have the right to vote on any question before the Board.

11. Committees

(1)The Board may, in the exercise of its functions, set up such commit­tees as it may determine.
(2)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Board may set up-
(a)a programmes committee;
(b)a finance committee; and
(c)an appointments committee,
to which it may respectively delegate its powers relating to—
(i)the content and quality of the broadcasting programmes of the Corporation;
(ii)the finances of the Corporation; and
(iii)the appointment of qualified staff to the Corporation.
(3)Subject to subsections (4) and (6), a committee shall—
(a)consist of—
(i)the Chairperson; and
(ii)2 other members selected by the Board; and
(b)be chaired by—
(i)the Chairperson; or
(ii)in the absence of the Chairperson, any member elected from among the members present.
(4)A member who is an employee of the Corporation shall not be quali­fied to sit on the appointments committee.
(5)A committee, other than a disciplinary committee, shall operate within the general policy guidelines laid down by the Board.
(6)
(a)Subject to paragraph (c), where the Board sets up a disciplinary committee under subsection (1), the chairperson and members of the disci­plinary committee shall be persons who—
(i)have not been involved in the investigation of the case; and
(ii)are able to make an independent decision.
(b)Where disciplinary proceedings have been instituted on grounds of misconduct which, if proved, would justify dismissal from the Corpora­tion, the chairperson of the disciplinary committee shall be a person who has held judicial office or is a barrister of not less than 10 years' standing.
(c)A member, or a person who is or was an employee, shall not be qualified to sit on a disciplinary committee.
[S. 11 amended by Act 65 of 1985; s. 3 of Act 1 6 of 2012 w.e.f. 28 July 2012.]

12. General Advisory Council

(1)There shall be for the purposes of this Act a General Advisory Council.
(2)The Council shall—
(a)advise the Minister and the Board on any matter relating to the broadcasting programmes and services of the Corporation; and
(b)make proposals to—
(i)the Board in relation to the standards to be adopted in rela­tion to the content and quality of the broadcasting pro­grammes of the Corporation; and
(ii)the programmes committee and the Director-General in relation to the programmes to be broadcast by the Corporation.
(3)
(a)The Council shall consist of 23 members to be appointed by the Minister.
(b)The members of the Council shall comprise—
(i)2 representatives of the agricultural community;
(ii)one representative of educational interests;
(iii)one representative of arts;
(iv)4 representatives of religious interests;
(v)2 representatives of local authorities;
(vi)one representative of commerce and industry;
(vii)one representative of women's organisations;
(viii)one representative of youth organisations;
(ix)3 representatives of the trade union movement;
(x)one representative of Rodrigues and the Outer Islands;
(xi)one representative of the student body;
(xii)one representative of the general public;
(xiii)2 representatives of the press;
(xiv)one representative of consumers; and
(xv)one representative of benevolent associations.
(4)The Minister shall appoint the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Council from among the members appointed under subsection (3).
(5)Every member of the Council shall, subject to the approval of the Minis­ter, be paid by the Corporation such allowance as the Board may determine.
(6)The Board shall provide such secretarial and other facilities to the Council as it may determine.
(7)The Board may, with the approval of the Minister, make such rules as it may determine to regulate the meetings and proceedings of the Council.
(8)Subject to the rules made under subsection (7), the Council may regulate its meetings and proceedings in such manner as it may determine.

13. Director-General

(1)There shall be a Director-General of the Corporation who shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation.
(2)The Director-General shall—
(a)be appointed by the Minister, with the approval of the Prime Minister, on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit;
(b)be responsible for the execution of the policy of the Board and for the control and management of the day-to-day business of the Corporation;
(c)act in accordance with such directions as he may receive from the Board;
(d)every 6 months, submit to the Board a report on the activities and finances of the Corporation; and
(e)submit to the Board a programme schedule drawn up in consul­tation with the programmes committee and the Council at least 3 months before the broadcast of the programmes.

14. Deputy Director-General

There shall be a Deputy Director-General of the Corporation who shall—
(a)be appointed by the Minister, with the approval of the Prime Minister, on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit;
(b)exercise the functions and the powers of the Director-General where the latter is for any reason unable to exercise his func­tions or powers; and
(c)act in accordance with such directions as he may receive from the Board or the Director-General.

15. Appointment of employees

(1)The Board may appoint, on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, such employees as it considers necessary for the proper discharge of its functions under this Act.
(2)The employees of the Corporation shall be under the administrative control of the Director-General.
(3)No employee of the Corporation shall engage in any kind of political activity.

16. Conditions of service of employees

The Board may make provision to govern the conditions of service of the employees of the Corporation and, in particular, to deal with—
(a)the appointment, dismissal, discipline, pay and leave of, and the security to be given by, employees; and
(b)the establishment and maintenance of a superannuation scheme, medical benefits and loan funds and the contributions payable thereto and the benefits recoverable therefrom.

17. Delegation of powers

Subject to such instructions or rules of a general nature as it may give or make, the Board may delegate to the Director-General such of its powers under this Act as may be necessary to assist in the effective management of the day-to-day business and activities of the Corporation, other than the power—
(a)to borrow money;
(b)to raise loans; or
(c)to enter into any transaction in respect of capital expenditure which exceeds 100,000 rupees.

18. ***

19. Right of reply

(1)Any person who alleges that his honour, character, reputation or goodwill has been adversely affected by—
(a)any matter which has been broadcast by the Corporation; or
(b)any political broadcast during any election campaign,
may, without prejudice to any right he may have under any other enactment, make a written application in the prescribed form to the Chairperson for a right of reply within 5 days of the matter broadcast or within 48 hours of the political broadcast, as the case may be.
(2)Where the Board is satisfied that the honour, character, reputation or goodwill of the applicant has been adversely affected and the applicant has made his application in the form and within the period mentioned in subsec­tion (1), it shall at the earliest available opportunity grant to the applicant a right of reply on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

20. Management of assets and funds

The Board shall manage and utilise all the assets and funds vested in it in such manner and for such purposes as, in the opinion of the Board, will best promote the objects of the Corporation.

21. Accounts of Board

All the money received by the Board shall be paid into—
(a)a Capital Fund; or
(b)a Revenue Fund.

22. Capital Fund

There shall be paid into the Capital Fund such money as is received by the Board for the purposes of capital expenditure for the development and im­provement of the Corporation and its plant, including its transmitting stations and installations.

23. Revenue Fund

(1)There shall be paid into the Revenue Fund
(a)the fees, charges, dues or other sums payable to the Corporation;
(b)the grants made by Government, any other Government or by any other person which are not meant for capital expenditure; and
(c)all other sums of money which are received by the Board and are not payable into the Capital Fund.
(2)The money deposited in the Revenue Fund under subsection (1) shall be used and applied for the working of the Corporation in such manner and for such purposes as, in the opinion of the Board, will best promote the in­terests of the Corporation.

24. Estimate

(1)The Corporation shall, at least 3 months before the end of every fi­nancial year, submit to the Minister an estimate of the revenue and expendi­ture of the Corporation for the next financial year.
(2)Subject to subsection (3), the Minister shall, before the beginning of the financial year, signify in writing his approval of the estimate.
(3)Where the Minister signifies his approval under subsection (2), he may—
(a)approve part only of the expenditure under any item;
(b)direct the Corporation to amend the estimate in respect of any item in such manner as he thinks fit.

25. Licence fees

Every person shall, in relation to television broadcasts by the Corporation, pay to the Corporation or to such other person as may be prescribed a li­cence fee in accordance with the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (Collec­tion of Licence Fees) Act.[S. 25 amended by Act 56 of 1984.]

26. External broadcasting services

(1)The Minister may, after consultation with the Board, direct the Corpo­ration to provide external broadcasting services to such countries in such languages and at such times as may be specified by the Minister, and the Corporation shall comply with the direction.
(2)The expenses incurred by the Corporation in providing the external broadcasting services mentioned in subsection (1) shall be met from the Con­solidated Fund.

27. Emergency powers

(1)Where the Prime Minister is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient in the interests of defence, public safety or public order for Government to have control over any transmitting station owned or operated by the Corpo­ration, he may, by notice published in the Gazette, declare the coming into operation of this section.
(2)Where a declaration is made under subsection (1), the Prime Minister or any person authorised by him in writing may-
(a)take possession of any transmitting station owned or operated by the Corporation or any apparatus at the station and use the station or apparatus for such purposes as the Prime Minister may determine;
(b)place any person in control of the station or apparatus specified in paragraph (a);
(c)direct the Corporation to submit to him any matter intended for broadcast;
(d)stop or delay or direct the Corporation to stop or delay the broadcast of any matter intended for broadcast; or
(e)order the Corporation to comply with such directions as he thinks fit to give.

28. Powers of Minister

(1)The Minister may, in relation to the exercise by the Board of the powers of the Corporation, after consultation with the Board, give such di­rections of a general character to the Board, not inconsistent with this Act, as he considers to be necessary in the public interest, and the Board shall comply with those directions.
(2)The Corporation shall provide facilities to the Minister for obtaining in­formation with respect to its activities and shall furnish him with such docu­ments as he may require.

29. Execution of documents

(1)Subject to subsection (2), all documents shall be deemed to be exe­cuted by or on behalf of the Corporation if signed by—
(a)the Chairperson; or
(b)the Director-General.
(2)Any cheque of the Corporation shall be signed by—
(a)the Chairperson; and
(b)the Director-General or such other person as may be appointed for the purpose by the Board.
[S. 29 amended by Act 65 of 1985.]

30. Restriction on use of names

Notwithstanding any other enactment, no person shall use in relation to his business—
(a)the word "Mauritius", "Mauritian", "national", "state", "author­ity" or "corporation" in combination with the word "broadcast", "broadcasting", "diffusion", "rediffusion", "radio" or "television";
(b)the name "Mauritius Television Corporation", "Voice of Mauri­tius", "Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation"; or
(c)a name which so clearly resembles one of the names mentioned in paragraph (b) as to be likely to be mistaken for it.

31. Exemptions

Notwithstanding any other enactment—
(a)the Corporation shall be exempt from payment of duty, rate, charge, fee or tax;
(b)no stamp duty or registration fee shall be payable in respect of any document issued or executed by, on behalf or to the benefit of, the Corporation; and
(c)the Corporation may frank letters or postal packets and make remittances by money orders, free of charge.

32. Donations

Article 910 of the Code Civil Mauricien shall not apply to the Corporation

33. Restriction on execution

Notwithstanding any other enactment, no execution by levy or attach­ment of property or any other process shall be issued against the Corporation in any suit against it.

34. Regulations

(1)The Board may, with the approval of the Minister, make such regula­tions as it thinks fit for the purposes of this Act.
(2)Any regulations made under subsection (1) may provide for the levy­ing of charges and the taking of fees.

35. Offences

Any person who contravenes this Act or any regulations made under it shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not ex­ceeding 2,000 rupees and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

36. ***

37. ***

38. Transitional provisions

(1)
(2)
(3)All employees of the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation in existence since 9 August 1982 shall be deemed to have been transferred to the Corpo­ration established under section 3 without losing their period of service and under the same conditions of employment and any such service shall be deemed to be service with the Corporation.

39. ***

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History of this document

30 June 2017 this version
Consolidation
09 October 1982
Commenced