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IBF moves SC against Bombay HC verdict on NTO 2.0

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has moved the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court verdict upholding the New Tariff Orders (NTO) 1.0 and 2.0 besides the powers of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to fix tariff for broadcasting.

The petition was filed today and is tentatively expected to list next week.

The IBF has contended that the Bombay HC's observation that the broadcasters have a fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, but the said right is not absolute will infringe on its fundamental right to free speech and expression.

The IBF along with The Film and Television Producers Guild of India Star India, ZEEL, Viacom18, and Sony Pictures Networks India among others had challenged the constitutional validity of Section 11 of TRAI Act 1997, NTO 1.0 and NTO 2.0 before the Bombay High Court.

The petitioners (broadcasters) had pleaded that all three should be declared constitutionally invalid. However, all three challenges failed barring the second part of the twin conditions that were incorporated in NTO 2.0.

The bench of Justices AA Sayed and Anuja Prabhudessai held that the second twin condition "is arbitrary being contrary to the mandate of section 11(4) of the TRAI Act of ensuring transparency and violates the Petitioners' fundamental rights under Articles 14 of the Constitution".

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