PIL filed against auction of Rath Yatra live telecast rights

Cuttack: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Orissa High Court today against the decision of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to auction the live-telecast rights of the world famous Rath Yatra to the highest bidding TV channel.

The PIL was filed by senior advocate and Puri Sachetan Nagrik Mancha President, Prasanna Kumar Das.

Seeking immediate intervention of the High Court to stop the auction process, Das claimed the SJTA’s notification for inviting bidding from TV channels is a gross violation of the Jagannath Temple Act.

According to sources, the bidding submitted by five Hindi and Odia TV channels was opened by the SJTA in today afternoon. Odisha Television Ltd (OTV) has emerged the highest bidder with Rs 54 lakh, the sources added.

The bidding process is still open.

TV channels having minimum experience of five years can take part in this auction.

The SJTA has invited TV channels to bid for the telecast rights which include Snana Yatra, Ratha Yatra, Bahuda Yatra, Suna Besha, Adharapana, Neeladri Bije etc.

The highest bidder will get the permission to telecast the event live and will have to share the feed with the national broadcaster, Doordarshan, free of cost, the notification said.

The move, a first in the history of the 12th Century shrine, has already triggered a controversy with some organisations and individuals including a section of the servitors of the important shrine raising their objections to it.

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