A Supreme Court lawyer yesterday challenged the legality of the recently formulated National Broadcast Policy, 2014, saying it has curtailed the freedom of the press and the fundamental rights of people.
In his writ petition filed with the High Court, Eunus Ali Akond has sought a stay order from the court on the effectiveness of the policy. The cabinet approved the policy on August 4 and issued a gazette notification to this effect three days later despite a strong criticism against the policy from different quarters.
The petitioner has urged the HC to ask the government to explain why the broadcast policy should not be declared illegal.
He has prayed to the court to direct the government to take steps so that television channels don't have those who are not experts on relevant subjects for talk shows and to direct them not to say or make any false, misconceived and irrelevant statement in their talk shows till disposal of the rule.
The HC may hold a hearing on the petition on Tuesday (today), Eunus told The Daily Star after filing the petition.
The policy is against the fundamental rights of people since it restricts the airing of reports against the government, armed forces and friendly countries, he said in the petition.
The lawyer said the government has made the broadcast policy for television and radio channels, ignoring worries about a possible misuse of some of its provisions.
Eunus has also attached a report of The Daily Star that contains a comment of Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu to the petition. The report was published on Friday.
While addressing a briefing on Thursday, Inu said, “If any individual makes any offensive or instigating comments in the media, it can interfere as per the policy.” The minister's comment is against the fundamental rights of people, Eunus said in the petition.