Delhi HC asks Prasar Bharati to consider a representation request seeking to resume all AIR units
Delhi’s High Court asked public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on Wednesday to consider a proxy petition seeking to resume all All India Radio (AIR) channels, stations, services and units suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With these instructions, a bank in the division of Chief Justice DN Patel and Judge Prateek Jalan settled the public interest litigation brought by All India Radio Casual Announcers and Comperes Union and AIR Broadcasting Professionals Association.
The PIL, presented by defender Akash Vashishtha, spoke out against the closure of the All India National Radio Channel and its Regional Academies in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram, without conducting any evaluation.
The petition sought instructions for the Center and Prasar Bharti to resume all AIR channels, stations, services, and units mentioned in this petition and those closed, halted, or discontinued during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown, with immediate effect.
It sought instructions to compensate the occasional contract broadcasters, radio jockeys, presenters and competitors who serve AIR stations, and those closed in the last six months, for the loss of jobs and wages they suffered since the closure of their channels / stations / services / units.
“This petition also raises the manifestly arbitrary, irrational and unreasonable closure of some of All India Radio’s most popular channels / services, such as DTH, AIR World Service (Nepalese, Russian, Arabic, Swahili, English, Hindi, etc.) , Indraprastha Channel and Rajdhani Channels from designated studios, wearing Covid-19 as garb, ”the statement read.
It alleged that Prasar Bharati, in a virtual abuse of power, has further arbitrarily and irrationally stopped the transmission services of AIR Chhatarpur, AIR Shahdol and AIR Betul stations.
“Some of the flagship and strategically important popular channels, such as AIR World Services, have been delinked from mainstream studios and instead run as small-time shows on YouTube channels that are foreign-sourced,” the statement reads. .
“The shows that run on YouTube are not only inferior in quality, they also have a very low audience. Also, YouTube is a service run by foreign agencies that can change its terms and conditions at any time and can stop operating at any time. In such a case, AIR will have no means to keep the records of its broadcast materials intact, it added.