Dhaka – Bangladeshi government has approved in principle a draft of broadcast law with a stringent provision of maximum seven years of jail for airing socially unacceptable contents.
The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave the green light to draft of The Broadcast Law, 2018 on Monday apparently aiming at bringing discipline in the broadcasting sector.
Dozens of televisions in the public and private sectors are being running in Bangladesh by now.
A seven-member commission will be formed to deal with the broadcast sectors, according to the proposed law, said Mohammad Shafiul Alam, the cabinet secretary.
The president will give approval for formation of the commission with a chairman and six members, including a woman member, after the search committee’s recommendations to this end.
Licenses will be required for broadcasting, he said adding that if anyone continues broadcast despite being disqualified by the court for running it for perverted mentality and bankruptcy, he or she will have to suffer maximum seven years jail or pay fine of Taka 5 crore or both the punishment.
The commission will provide license to persons or organisations to bring dynamism in broadcast industry, raise quality and efficiency of its activities and maintain discipline.
The commission will have to take prior permission from the government in case of providing any license in this regard, he said.
Taka 100,000 fine will have to pay everyday if anyone continues to broadcast despite being declared disqualified, proposed the law.
The cabinet secretary said the license will be revoked if it is handed over without the permission of the commission.
A provision has been kept for three to five years imprisonment or Tk 5 crore penalty if any distorted and misleading information, picture, video or other contents are broadcast or presented and emergency message of the government is not broadcast.
“The law has been placed before the cabinet to bring discipline in broadcast media including online media,” said the secretary adding that the stakeholders will be consulted before it comes into effect.
The commission will dispose of any complaint to be placed against any media within 30 days after receiving it, as per the law.
The commission will have authority to cancel or suspend the license of any broadcast media on ground of seven disqualifications.