HC hearing on Nimbus challenge to telecast ordinance on 12 February

NEW DELHI: Even as the Delhi High Court today refused to stay the operation of the ordinance promulgated last week making it mandatory for private sports channels to share live feed of any international sports event with Prasar Bharati, the telecast controversy is coming up for hearing in two different benches of the court on 12 February.

Justice BD Sharma, who is hearing the appeal by Prasar Bharati against an earlier order of the court permitting seven-minute deferred telecast on Doordarshan, rejected the plea by Nimbus Communications, owner of Neo Sports, seeking a stay on the Ordinance.

Nimbus informed the Court that it had filed a petition in the court of a division bench headed by Chief Justice MK Sarma challenging the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Ordinance and that court had fixed the matter for Monday.

The Counsel for Nimbus Gopal Jain informed the division bench headed by Chief Justice MK Sarma that Neo Sports was challenging the ordinance, as it was arbitrary and unconstitutional.

The private sports broadcast channel also contended that the Ordinance violates its fundamental right under Article 19 (1) that is rights to speech and expression and its intellectual property right.

(Mr Justice Ahmed had yesterday questioned the Government’s reasoning in promulgating the Ordinance saying, ''The Rule of Law should not have been subverted,'' even as the government said it would challenge any court order favouring Nimbus’ insistence on deferred telecast. Justice B D Ahmed had wanted to know why the government was so swift in bringing an ordinance and added that the whole thing left a bad taste in the mouth.).

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