The Supreme Court today cleared the way for television channels to broadcast the sponsored of TV news and headlines.
The Appellate Division of the SC stayed a HC verdict that declared the sponsoring of TV news and headlines illegal and barred the broadcast of news and headlines sponsored by different organisations.
A four-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain came up with the stay order after holding a brief hearing on four separate leave to appeal petitions challenging the HC verdict.
Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and private television channels Channel 24, Deepto TV and Channel-i submitted the leave to appeal petitions with the SC on different days earlier challenging the HC verdict.
Khandaker Reza-E Raquib, the lawyer for BTRC, told The Daily Star the apex court stayed the HC verdict till the disposal of the leave to appeal petitions.
He said the leave to appeal petitions were filed citing the grounds that there is no violation of any law or rule in broadcasting sponsored TV news and headlines and therefore, the writ petition upon which the HC delivered the verdict is not acceptable.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin, lawyers Murad Reza and Md Asaduzzaman appeared for the TV channels individually.
The HC on May 6 last year declared the sponsoring of TV news and headlines illegal and also directed that broadcast of news and headlines sponsored by different organisations cannot continue after August 31 of that year.
The HC bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Sashanka Shekhar Sarkar had come up with the verdict following a writ petition filed by MA Matin, a retired teacher of Government Laboratory High School, challenging the legality of sponsored news and headlines on TV.