The Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (Noab) yesterday filed a petition with the Supreme Court, praying to it to vacate its earlier order that cleared the way for the government to publish the gazette notification on implementing the recommendation of ninth wage board for journalists.
After holding a brief hearing, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the SC, sent the petition to its full bench and set October 20 for hearing the petition.
Noab said in the petition that the apex court on August 20 stayed for eight weeks the High Court order that issued status quo on publication of the gazette following a misleading argument placed by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam.
In the petition, Noab said it could not sufficiently respond to the “volte-face” (a sudden change from one set of beliefs or plan of action to the opposite) stance of the attorney general on the day the order of stay was granted by the apex court.
“The applicability of the rule 128 of the Bangladesh Labour Rules, 2015 was never challenged in the application of the petitioner neither argued at the time of hearing on August 19. On that day the learned attorney general sought adjournment to take instruction from his client as to whether they have already complied with the provisions of rule 128 of the rules of 2015. Suddenly on the next morning the attorney general abruptly changed his stance and argued that the very rule 128 is not applicable as the term ‘board’ in the rules does not include the ‘News Paper Wage Board’ in question,” Noab said in the petition.
“The respondent instantly responded in terms of the section 351 (2) (d) and argued that the rules are applicable for all the wage board constituted under chapter XI of the Act,” it added.
“But the learned attorney general then argued that unless the rules expressly include the News Paper Wage Board in its scope, the honourable court could not make that applicable for the same and upon such submission the honourable court was convinced to pass the instant order of stay for a period of eight weeks from August 20,” the petition further said.
Advocate AM Aminuddin and Advocate Md Yousuf Ali appeared for Noab.