Thai Supreme Court dismisses 2.8 billion baht iTV lawsuit

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

The Supreme Administrative Court delivered a final blow, dismissing the Prime Minister’s Office secretariat‘s hefty 2.8 billion baht lawsuit against iTV Public Company.

The lawsuit, stemming from a joint agreement with Shin Corp to operate a TV station using the UHF spectrum, has been a thorn in the side since 2007, persisting through numerous administrations.

The Supreme Administrative Court’s resolute decision brings an end to the prolonged iTV concession fees controversy, culminating in a dispute that began when the Prime Minister’s Office first took the matter to an arbitration panel in 2016.

This panel ruled in favour of iTV, asserting that no unpaid concession fees were owed. Undeterred, the PM’s Office’s secretariat pressed on, taking the case to the Administrative Court, only to face rejection of its fee demand. Now, the final chapter has been written with the Supreme Administrative Court upholding this ruling, reported Thai PBS World.

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The roots of the conflict trace back to the PM’s Office granting iTV Plc a 30-year concession on July 3, 1995, to operate a national TV station. After a prolonged battle over concession fees, the Public Relations Department stepped in, assuming control of the station in 2007 when the Cabinet revoked the concession.

Renamed Thailand Independent Television, the channel eventually closed its doors in January 2008, with its frequency reassigned to Thai PBS under the Public Broadcasting Service Act B.E. 2551 (2008).

In related news, in a sensational comeback, former Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat reclaimed his spot in the Parliament today, delivering a scathing critique of the government’s 500-billion-baht digital wallet scheme. The ex-prime ministerial candidate, now leading the opposition, spared no words as he labelled the scheme a potential long-term burden for the country.

In other news, the Supreme Court delivered a harsh blow to three former Bhumjaithai MPs, slamming them with a 10-year ban from contesting elections. Chalong Thirdweerapong, Phumisak Kongmee, and Natee Ratchakitprakarn were all found guilty of a severe breach of parliamentary ethics.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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