The High Court today upheld its ad-interim order of injunction, restraining the authorities concerned of all media from publishing, broadcasting any statement, comment, interview and conversation of anyone accused and convicted of non-bailable and cognisable offences in TV news and talk shows with regard to the cases pending before the court or investigating agency -- till further order.
It, however, declined to issue contempt of court rule against the authorities concerned of Ekattor TV, a private television channel, for allowing Proshanta Kumar Halder, also known as PK Halder, to participate in a live talk show and broadcasting his interview on December 28 last year.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim disposed of a petition filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission praying to it to issue a contempt of court rule against the authorities of Ekattor TV for allowing PK Halder to participate in a live talk show and broadcasting his interview as he is an absconding accused of a money laundering case.
The HC bench expected that Ekattor TV authorities will become more cautious in broadcasting and publishing any news regarding the absconding accused as well as sub-judice matters in future.
Earlier in the day, Ekattor TV authorities submitted an explanation to the HC through its lawyer Muhammad Ashraf Ali, saying that they aired the interview of PK Halder on good faith and they had no intention to undermine the court.
The Ekattor TV authorities said they were not aware of any court order restraining publication and broadcasting any report on the sub-judice matter and also said that they will remain more cautious about publishing and broadcasting reports in this regard.
ACC's lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan vehemently opposed the explanation of the Ekattor TV authorities, saying that the Ekattor TV authorities have indirectly admitted their guilt as they said they will be more cautious in broadcasting and publishing reports on the sub-judice matter.
The Ekattor TV authorities have allowed PK Halder to participate in live talk show as a guest although he is a wanted and fugitive accused and a warrant of arrest was issued against him by a court and the interpol is looking for him.
Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik supported ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan.
Supreme Court lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir as an intervener told the HC that he is willing to place before it several decisions of the courts of different countries allowing the media to publish interviews of convicts and fugitive accused.
The HC bench asked him to do so and said that it will hear in details on this issue during hearing the rule.
During hearing the pending rule over the inaction of the ACC and government in arresting PK Halder, the HC on December 30 observed that no accused or convicted of non-bailable and cognisable offences is entitled to make any comment or give interview before media.
The court is scheduled to hold hearing on the rule on February 28.