The High Court yesterday questioned the legality of sponsored news and headlines on television.
An HC rule asked the authorities concerned to explain in two weeks why broadcast of news and headlines, sponsored by different organisations, on TV channels should not be declared illegal.
The bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Md Nuruzzaman issued the rule following a writ petition filed last week by MA Matin, a retired teacher of Dhanmondi Government Laboratory High School.
The petition said most TV channels never publish news that goes against the interest of organisations or persons paying them to air advertisements. The people’s right to information is thus denied.
Secretaries to the ministries of information, law and home, inspector general of police, director general of Bangladesh Television and chief executives of private TV channels — Ekushey Television, Boishakhi, Channel i and Bangla Vision — have been made respondent to the rule.
Masud Ahmed Sayeed appeared for the petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General ABM Altaf Hossain represented the government.
-With The Daily Star input