An application has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the I&B Ministry and Prasar Bharati to notify the upcoming cricket Test matches between Indian and South Africa as 'sporting events of national importance' for telecasting on Doordarshan.
As per the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati Rules 2007,) private channels having telecasting rights will have to share the feed of those matches of 'national importance 'with the public broadcaster.
The matter came up for hearing today before a bench comprising Chief Justice M K Sharma and Justice Reva Khetrapal. The bench refused to pass the order at this stage and posted it for hearing on February 28 along with a similar petition pending in the court.
"We are to examine the petition (which is pending). How can we pass order today," the bench said.
This application, filed by one Ravi Dev Gupta, would now be heard along with his PIL challenging the government's decision refusing to place all the Test matches at par with One-Day and Twenty20 matches as sporting events of national importance and ensure telecast of all Test matches on DD.
The Centre, through its notification issued on October 3 last year, had declared that unlike One-Day and Twenty20 matches, all Test matches were not of national importance and the public broadcaster was not bound to telecast them.
Earlier, the court had sought an explanation from the Centre on its policy for declaring a Test match played by India as a sporting event of public interest before broadcasting it on Doordarshan.
The Bench after hearing the petitioner had sought to know from the Centre about the basis on which government would decide the importance of a particular Test match.