The Supreme Court today fixed August 19 for hearing a petition filed by the government seeking stay on the High Court order that issued status quo on publication of gazette notification on implementing the recommendation of 9th wage board for journalists.
Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division of the SC, Justice Md Nuruzzaman, sent the stay petition to the full bench for its hearing on August 19.
Earlier in the day, Justice Md Nuruzzaman refused to hold hearing on the petition saying that he was once a lawyer for Bangla daily Prothom Alo Editor and Publisher Matiur Rahman, also the president of the Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (NOAB).
Following a writ petition filed by Matiur Rahman, the HC on August 6 issued status quo for two months on publication of gazette notification on implementing the recommendation of 9th wage board for journalists.
The government recently filed a petition with the SC seeking a stay on the HC order.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam today placed the government's stay petition before the Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division.
Advocate Hasan Ariff appeared for the NOAB president.
Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukdar also appeared for the government.
On July 25 this year, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader had said a cabinet committee on 9th wage board award for newspaper and news agency journalists and other employees has finalised its report for cabinet endorsement.
Quader, who heads the seven-member cabinet committee, had told newsmen “after the final approval [by the cabinet], a gazette will be published” for its implementation.
Writ petitioner’s lawyer said the labour ministry is responsible for the formation of the wage board as per the rules of business issued by the president. But the 9th wage board has been formed by the information ministry in violation of the rules of business, he said citing the writ petition.
The government on January 29 last year constituted the 9th wage board to propose enhanced salary and other benefits for journalists and other employees of newspapers and news agencies.
The owners who were made members of the body are: Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh president Matiur Rahman, vice-president AK Azad, treasurer Motiur Rahman Chowdhury, members Mahfuz Anam and Tasmima Hossain, and convener of Bangladesh Sangbadpatra Parishad MG Kibria Chowdhury.