New Delhi, Oct 17 (PTI) Why not allow private radio stations, including community radios, to broadcast news when the same is allowed for television channels?, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre.

Agreeing to hear the PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam raised questions on why the government has a problem in allowing news broadcast by private radio stations which is more accessible for the masses particularly the poor.

It issued notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking its direction to the government to allow private radio stations, including community radio, to broadcast news.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, pleaded that unlike television channels, none of the 245 private FM channels and 145 community radio stations in the country is allowed to broadcast their own news and current affairs programmes, which is the monopoly of government-run broadcaster Prasar Bharati.

“You rightly mentioned that radio is accessible to everybody. There is no problem (for govt)in case of TV channels,” the bench said, asking the government to respond on why private radio stations be not allowed to broadcast news.

The NGO contended that like television channels, radio stations be allowed to broadcast news as this medium is far more accessible to people and radio stations can be set up without much investment.