The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court verdict that declared illegal the use of national anthem as a ringtone or welcome tune by the mobile operators.After disposing of a leave to appeal petition filed by Aktel, now Robi, against the HC order, the four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha directed mobile phone operator Robi to stop using national anthem as a ringtone or a welcome tune.
It also directed the Robi to donate Tk 30 lakh to charity organisation Cancer Institute as early as possible.
Advocate Masud Ahmed Sayeed, counsel for the petitioner told reporters that the Supreme Court asked Robi Axiata to donate TK 30 lakh to National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital situated in Mohakhali, Dhaka.
Earlier, On May 11 this year, the apex court gave the similar order for Banglalink and Grameenphone after disposing of their appeal petitions filed against the HC order that had on August 5, 2010 declared the use of national anthem as ringtone or welcome tune illegal.
It also directed Banglalink, Grameenphone and Aktel to donate Tk 50 lakh each to three charity organisations for using the national anthem commercially violating laws.
However, the apex court commuted the amount to Tk 30 lakh following their appeal against the HC order.
The apex court asked Grameenphone to donate TK 30 lakh to National Liver Foundation while Banglalink to donate the same amount to National Institute of Kidney Disease and Hospital at Shere-e-Bangla Nagar.
Earlier, Kalipad Mridha, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, filed a writ petition challenging the legality of commercial use of the national anthem as ringtone and welcome tune in cellphones in 2006.
On December 11, 2006, the High Court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why the use of national anthem as ringtone and welcome tune should not be declared illegal.
The High court on August 5, 2010 declared it illegal and asked Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi companies to provide Tk 50 lakh each as donations to National Liver Foundation, National Institute of Kidney Disease and Hospital and National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital, Mohakhali respectively.