The High Court has issued a ruling upon the concerned bodies of the government to explain as to why they should not be directed to constitute a National Broadcasting Commission or a Censor Board or any other Controlling Body for releasing or broadcasting any drama or short film or web series.
It also wanted to know from the respondents to explain as to why the inaction of the respondents to constitute a National Broadcasting Commission or a Censor Board or any other Controlling Body for releasing or broadcasting any drama or short film or web series on TV channel, social media or YouTube or any other online platform should not be declared as illegal.
Information secretary, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman, Channel-I chairman and television drama ‘Ghatona Satya’s producer and director have been asked to comply with the ruling in four weeks.
The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed in this regard.
Sajida Rahman Danny, chairman of ‘PFDA-Vocational Training Centre Trust’, an organisation that works for the differently able persons, filed the writ petition on Nov 4 this year challenging the inaction of the respondents to constitute a National Broadcasting Commission in complying with the National Broadcasting Policy 2014.
Lawyers Mohammad Mosarof Hossian Manir and Nusrat Jahan appeared in the court hearing on behalf of the writ petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Bepul Bagmar represented the state.
According to the writ petition, a drama namely ‘Ghatona Satya’ was broadcast on the occasion of last Eid-Ul-Adha, 2021, on Channel-I and also on YouTube and different online platforms. This drama has proclaimed and tried to establish a massage in the society that ‘disabled children are the result of parental sins’ which severely defamed the autistic children and their parents and breached their civil rights as citizens of Bangladesh.
It also humiliated the parents of the autistic children and the autistic persons and many other organisations which work with the autistic children and persons including the present petitioner, also read the petition.
“After the repeated and several separate criticism and protest by the viewers, critics, directors and artists though the authority concerned has removed the said drama. But till today the creator, director, artists, broadcasting channel or any other concerned authorities involved with the drama have not taken any steps for providing any remedy to the affected persons as per law.”
“It may have a chance to happen the same offence in future by the said same authority or any other person or persons, hence a guideline is very much necessary for releasing any drama or short film or web series on a TV channel or YouTube and in this regards a controlling body is highly necessary for securing and protection of offence.”
Lawyer Mohammad Mosarof Hossian Manir said, “Information secretary earlier published the National Broadcasting Policy 2014. Clause 6 (1) of the policy said to form a Broadcasting Commission. But the government has not formed it yet.” As a result, we have challenged the inaction of the government, added the lawyer.