The Appellate Division has stayed the High Court's order banning commercially sponsored advertisements in various segments of news broadcasts on private television channels.
The Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order on Sunday (18 October).
Barrister Masud Ahmed Saeed was in favour of the writ petition, while Barrister Khandaker Reza-e Rakib appeared for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
On 6 May last year, the High Court had banned commercially sponsored advertisements in various segments of a news bulletin on private television channels.
A High Court bench comprising Justice Jubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Shashank Shekhar Sarkar passed the order on the final hearing of a writ petition.
Citing examples such as "XYZ Limited Business News", "XYZ Hospital Health News", etc, Barrister Masood Ahmed Saeed said, "Telecasting advertisements from the organisation concerned raises questions about the impartiality of the news made against that organisation."
A writ was filed in the High Court in 2011 putting forward these allegations, he added.
The writ petition was filed by a school teacher named MA Matin. However, after the death of the petitioner, a businessman named Farooq Md Hasib joined the writ petition and continued the proceedings of the case.
Later, the High Court issued a rule on the writ. A total of 24 people, including the Secretaries of the Home and Law Ministries, and the owners of all private television channels, were made respondents in the writ petition.