Telecast ordinance: HC refuses to grant stay

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The Delhi High Court today refused to grant stay of the ordinance asking private sports channels to share live feed of cricket and other sports events with public broadcaster Prasar Bharti.

A division bench headed by Justice Vikramajit Sen adjourned the matter till February 15 for further hearing.

Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing for Prasar Bharti, pleaded that the ordinance could only be stayed under extraordinary grounds.

Moreover, the conditions to share the live feed with the Prasar Bharti were mentioned in the tender documents, which was in the knowledge of the Nimbus Communications, argued Mr Dave.

Before granting the licence to telecast the matches in India, the government had made it clear to BCCI that whoever was given the right to telecast the matches, would have to share the live feed with DD and AIR, said application filed by the government in reply to the private channel.

Additional Solicitor General(ASG) appearing for the Government said the petition should be dismissed as it was not the fundamental right of the Nimbus to monopolise the telecast of cricket matches and it should abide by the contract it had signed in February 2006 to share the live feed.

Nimbus had filed a petition before the court challenging the Sports Broadcasting (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharti) Ordinance, 2007, terming it as "bad in law".

"The ordinance transgresses the constitutional limits and apart from violating the petitioner's fundamental rights, it also interferes with the power of the court to review the circular enforcing the private channels to share the feed," said the petition.

On January 23, in an interim order, the court had allowed the government-owned Prasar Bharti to download the feed of Nimbus Communications and telecast the India-West Indies ODI series in a delayed transmission of seven minutes on DD and broadcast commentary live on AIR.


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