Ministry of Information vs. Cricket Association of Bengal
Case Name – The Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting vs. Cricket Association of Bengal & Anr.
Citation: 1995 AIR 1236, 1995 SCC (2)161
- B Sawant
- P.Jeevan Reddy
Introduction: This case is related to the broadcasting and telecasting rights in context of Air waves and frequencies. Since there was no clear picture on Right to air waves flowing from 19(1) (a) the following case was held.s
Facts of the case:
- Right to freedom is guaranteed by Art 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Receiving information is a part of it which also involves receiving through telecasting. Subject to limitations air waves which are involved in this is controlled by public authority, this restriction falls under 19(2).
- Cricket being a source of entertainment the right to freedom of speech and expression also comes within the ambit of 19(1). CAB and BCCI have the right to organize cricket matches in India with or without foreign teams. The Petitioners claimed the right to telecast these matches through foreign agencies, they claimed it was a right flowing from 19(1) (a) and the authorities should grant such licence.
- The Respondent’s contended that air waves are public property and cannot be used for one’s own choice and pleasure. 19(1) (a) doesn’t include the air waves right and is a public property .It cannot be granted as demanded by the petitioner’s.
- If such right shall be granted it shall harness insecurity and instability for the Nation.
- Has the organizer have a right to telecast through a foreign agency?
- Do the air waves or frequencies come under public domain or public property?
- Does broadcasting of public property falls under 19(1) (a)?
- The Writ Petition and the appeal and the applications were disposed off.
- There is no fundamental difference permanent TV station and a temporary one, nor there is difference between Right to establish and operate private telecasting stations.
If the right which is claimed by the petitioners is to be sanctioned then each and every citizen shall claim the same which shall lead to catastrophic scenario for the security of the nation.
- What the petitioners are claiming are nothing but an unrestricted right through licensing which cannot be granted.
- In this case the petitioners have sold there right to a foreign agency i.e. they have parted away with the right. Thus the right to telecast the matches is sought by the foreign agency and not the Petitioner. Hence 19(1) (a) is not Violated. The Central Government shall take immediate steps to regulate public authority in regards to Air waves.