Dhaka, May 11: Bangladesh Supreme Court today barred people from using the country's national anthem as a ringtone on mobile phones. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S K Sinha passed the order after dismissing two separate appeals filed by mobile operators Banglalink and Grameenphone.
In 2006, Kalipada Mridha, an advocate, filed an appeal with the High Court, saying the use of the national anthem, penned by Rabindranath Tagore, should be restricted to uphold its sanctity.
The petition said the National Anthem Act-1978 detailed out when, where and how the national anthem could be played and its use as ringtone violated the law. Any commercial use of the national anthem, "Amar Sonar Bangla ami tomay valobashi", went against fundamental rights and the public interests, it said.
The High Court five years ago in its verdict also directed Banglalink, Grameenphone and other mobile operators to donate TK 50 lakh to three charity organisations each for using the national anthem as a business tool, bdnews reported. The Supreme Court commuted the amount from Tk 50 lakh to TK 30 lakh.
Writ petitioner's counsel Masud Ahmed Sayeed said that the three mobile operators have to donate TK 30 lakh to the charity organisations within 30 days after releasing the full verdict of the Supreme Court. He, however, said the mobile operators have already stopped using national anthem music as mobile ringtone following the High Court verdict.