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SC clears way for implementing 9th Wage Board award for journos

 SC ,  9th Wage Board ,  Award ,  journos
The Supreme Court on Sunday upheld its earlier order staying a High Court order for maintaining a status quo for two months on implementing the recommendations of the 9th Wage Board for journalists, clearing the way for its implementation.

A four-member Appellate Division bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order disposing of two petitions – one filed by the Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (Noab) and the other by the state.

It also asked the HC to dispose of a rule issued on October 15 last over the issue.

With the apex court’s order, there is no legal bar for implementation of the 9th Wage Board for journalists, said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam.

Advocate AM Amin Uddin, president of Supreme Court Lawyers’ Association, stood for Noab.

The government on January 29 last year constituted the 13-member 9th Wage Board to propose enhanced salary and other benefits for journalists and other employees of newspapers and news agencies.

Noab President Matiur Rahman filed a writ petition with the High Court on August 5 claiming that all the processes before publishing the Wage Board award were not followed properly.

On August 6, the HC bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Mohammad Ali issued the status quo after hearing the petition.

It also issued a rule asking why the finalisation of the 9th Wage Board award without publishing recommendations of the wage board award committee in gazette notification for giving opportunity to stakeholders concerned to raise objections, if any, according to the Labour Rules 2015 and submission of the final recommendations to the government should not be declared illegal.

On August 20, the Supreme Court stayed for eight weeks the HC order, clearing the way for publication of gazette notification.

It also asked the state to file a leave-to-appeal against the HC order.

On September 10, Noab moved the apex court with a fresh application for vacating its earlier order.

Taking the advantage of the SC stay order, the government in the meantime published the gazette on September 12.

Challenging the legality of the gazette publication, the Noab president filed a supplementary petition with the HC.

After hearing the petition, the HC questioned the legality of the gazette notification.

It had also a rule asking the respondents to explain in four weeks why the gazette notification on the 9th Wage Board award would not be declared illegal.

Later, the state moved the Supreme Court.