The supreme court yesterday ruled that it would uphold an interim injunction brought by the Clarín group against article 161 of the new media law.
The unanimous ruling exempts Clarín from the clause, which gives communications companies one year to sell off some of their television and radio channels and adapt to the reduced number of licences they are now permitted to have.
The decision rejects an appeal made by the state against this interim measure and comes after a barrage of twitter posts criticising the court from President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who is currently in Europe.
Although the court, presided over by Ricardo Lorenzetti, found in favour of Clarín, five of the seven judges said that: “It is desirable to but a reasonable time limit on the validity of this injunction.”
The court also emphasised that: “The interim injunction in no way affects the general application of the law.”
In June the supreme court ruled against an injunction that questioned the legislative approval process of the new media law.
In yesterday’s ruling the judge highlighted the difference betweent the two proposals, saying that: “the earlier injunction would have generally suspended the efficacy of the law itself.”
In this case, he said, “It deals with a challenge to the time frame determined by the law in relation to a specific article.”
The effect of the ruling is that the Clarín will be allowed to keep all of its television and radio licences for at least the year specified by the new media law to get rid of them.
As the law was ratified last month, they should expire around the 2011 presidential elections.
Ex-president Néstor Kirchner yesterday praised the five judges who underlined the validity of the media law and the need to put a time limit on the injunction.