HC notice to Centre, BCCI for 'promoting' liquor brands in IPL

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IPL
New Delhi, May 31: The Centre, BCCI and a TV channel have been directed by the Delhi High Court to respond to a PIL alleging that Indian Premium League (IPL) platform was used for promotion of liquor brands and it was aired by the channel in violation of law.

A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath issued notices to the Home Ministry, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sony entertainment channel and also to the city government's excise department seeking their reply by August 14.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Asif Khan, an advocate, alleging that the government had allowed airing of cricket event wherein a blatant abuse of the platform was being adopted to promote liquor of various brands and companies in complete violation of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and the Rules.

The petitioner alleged that the Centre had failed to discharge its duties to ensure that such violations are curbed. Sony Television channel, which had the exclusive rights to telecast all IPL matches, has "violated the provisions of the law by telecasting such matches which promote or advertise directly, indirectly or by surrogate manner various brands of alcohol," the plea said.

The PIL alleged that various liquor brands were being promoted under the garb of cricket. "During the event, even the jerseys of so many players, umpires' coats and caps, hoardings, back screens, boundary walls amongst other all bear a clear and unambiguous promotion and advertisement of brands of alcohol and it is surprising that such open advertisements have gone unnoticed by authorities who are organising the event," the plea said.

PTI

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