Online Desk:The High Court (HC) on Sunday (Nov 6) ruled that the owners of the respective institutions would pay the income tax of journalists and workers of newspapers and news agencies.
The HC also declared the recommendations made by the cabinet committee in the 9th Wage Board Award for journalists and workers of newspapers and news agencies regarding income tax and gratuity illegal.
A High Court division bench comprising Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Md Shohrowardi passed the order, declaring absolute a rule issued in this regard in 2020.
Senior Advocate Dr Qazi Akter Hamid, aided by Advocate Rezaul Haque Reza and Didarul Alam, took part in the hearing for the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Qazi Moinul Ahsan stood for the state.
According to the cabinet committee recommendations for the 9th Wage Board, income tax levied on the salaries of journalists, press workers and administrative employees must be paid from their respective income.
Journalists, press workers and administrative employees working at newspapers and news agencies of all categories will get a yearly gratuity equal to their one month of basic salary based on their last month’s draw, for their service ranging six months or more.
Mohammad Mahbubuzzaman, general secretary of the Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha-BSS Employees’ Union, filed the writ petition on November 23, 2020, challenging the aforesaid two provisions of the 9the Wage Board.
The High Court after holding a hearing on the matter issued the rule on November 25, 2020, asking authorities concerned to explain why it shall not declare illegal and beyond legal jurisdiction the recommendations made by the cabinet committee.
The court had asked cabinet, information and labour secretaries to reply to its order in four weeks.