Committee”s report: PM orders CBI inquiry into Shunglu report.
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PM walks the talk, orders CBI probe into CWG
TNN, Feb 19, 2011, 02.33am IST
NEW DELHI: Within two days of saying "wrongdoers" in the Commonwealth Games
scams will not escape, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered a CBI probe
into alleged graft in the Rs 214 crore Games telecast deal.
In the dock are suspended Prasar Bharati head BS Lalli and director general
of Doordarshan Aruna Sharma, with the first report of the Shunglu committee
on Commonwealth Games irregularities recommendation for action against both
officials now sent to the CBI. This follows comments by the cabinet
In an official statement, the Prime Minister's Office said Sharma would
revert to her parent cadre while the information and broadcasting ministry
would seek explanations from Lalli and Sharma on "allegations" made against
them and recommend action within two weeks.
The prosecution of Lalli and Sharma seems almost certain as the Shunglu
committee's finding that an Indian sub-contractor made around Rs 70 crore
profit from a deal between Prasar Bharati and UK firm SIS Live is likely to
be echoed by the government auditor as well. The sub-contract between SIS
Live and Zoom Communications was signed the very day the UK firm sealed the
deal with Prasar Bharati.
Sharma completed her tenure on Friday and her return to Madhya Pradesh cadre
was on the cards. Since Lalli's post as chief executive officer of Prasar
Bharati is covered by a statute, a reference has already been made to
President Pratibha Patil on the basis of a previous adverse Central
Vigilance Committee report.
The I&B ministry will also review payments made to SIS Live and consider
measures to recover funds in case of "over payment." The British high
commission has already protested a decision to withhold the last tranche of
payment due to the firm.
But the Shunglu committee estimates the telecast cost just about 50% of the
Rs 214 crore contract.
In what might lead to a review and changes in the Prasar Bharati Act, the
Prime Minsiter's Office said the relationship between the government, CEO
and Board of Prasar Bharati needed to be considered afresh.
Also, "issues regarding the governance structure and the oversight
mechanism" will be considered by a group of ministers headed by finance
minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The government does not want to be in a situation where an official like
Lalli is protected by the statute and cannot be checked. The financial and
other powers of Prasar Bharati are already subject to I&B scrutiny and these
will be acted on.
The group of ministers is being asked to expedite its work so that
"corrective administrative and legislative measures" are put in place.
CBI inquiry into Shunglu panel report
Anxious to send a stern message against
corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided to order a CBI inquiry
into the findings of the Shunglu committee report that indicted key Prasar
Bharati functionaries in award of broadcasting rights of Commonwealth Games.
Singh had earlier asked cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar to examine the
first inquiry report by former Comptroller & Auditor General VK Shunglu into
alleged irregularities committed ahead of the Games.
In his five-point plan of action made public on Friday, the Prime Minister,
however, went beyond the cabinet secretary’s recommendations and ordered
stern action. This included the CBI inquiry and a directive to Aruna Sharma,
Director General, Doordarshan, to pack up her bags and return to her parent
cadre, Madhya Pradesh.
The Shunglu committee report had indicted suspended Prasar Bharati chief BS
Lalli and Doordarshan DG Aruna Sharma in the award of broadcasting rights of
Commonwealth Games to UK-based firm Sis Live.
Sharma, who belongs to the Madhya Pradesh cadre of IAS, has been reverted
back to the state, a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Singh also directed the Information & Broadcasting Ministry to seek Lalli
and Sharma’s explanation as well as review the claims made by M/s SIS LIVE
to ensure that there is no over-payment.
“In the event of any over-payment having been made, the Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting has been directed to take appropriate action
for recovery, after seeking due legal advice,” the release said.
The Prime Minister also decided to ask the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed
by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to look into the relationship between
the government and the Prasar Bharati.
The GoM has also been told to examine Prasar Bharati’s governance structure
and the oversight mechanism put in place by the I&B ministry in respect of
such events. The ministerial panel is also being told to expedite its work
so that administrative and legislative measures could be put in place at the
earliest, the PMO said.
Prasar Bharati CEO not given hearing by Shunglu Committee: I&B
NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is reported to have
stated in a note to Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar that neither former
Prasar Bharati CEO B S Lalli nor Doordarshan Director General were given an
opportunity by the Shunglu Committee to explain their position relating to
broadcasting rights for the Commonwealth Games 2010.
It is learnt by indiantelevision.com that the reply by the Ministry is
generally based on a note sent by Doordarshan Directorate-General explaining
its stand on the issue.
Doordarshan is understood to have told the Ministry that the principle of
natural justice was violated in that the Committee never made an effort to
hear the broadcaster’s side before finalising its report.
It is also learnt to have given a point by point reply to the various
charges made in the report of the Committee, challenging its findings.
The Ministry said proper procedures were followed in making the contract
amendments at the centre of the inquiry, including seeking the legal opinion
of government law officers and the views of the appropriate authorities. It
also cites the opinion given by additional solicitor general Vivek K. Tankha
in this regard..
Earlier on 1 February, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked
Chandrashekhar to submit within a week his recommendation on the action that
can be taken on the report of the Shunglu Committee with regard to
broadcasting rights for the Commonwealth Games 2010.
The Prime Minister had taken a serious view of the findings of the first
report of the Committee. Stern action is likely to be taken on the basis of
the Cabinet Secretary’s recommendations, the statement said, adding that
Lalli had already been suspended.
The Shunglu Committee submitted its interim report to Singh on 31 January on
irregularities relating to broadcasting rights during the Commonwealth
The Committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu,
which has been set up to look at various issues relating to the Games, has
indicted Lalli who had allegedly favoured giving the broadcast rights to the
British company SIS Live resulting in losses to tune of around Rs 1.35
billion to the exchequer.
I&B ministry challenges findings of Shunglu panel.
The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has mounted a vigorous
defence of itself against allegations of wrongdoing levelled by a government
panel in the award of contracts for coverage of the Commonwealth Games (CWG)
The ministry rebuttal has been addressed to cabinet secretary K.M.
Chandrashekar, according to three officials familiar with the development.
The note and the documents accompanying it have also been reviewed by Mint.
The ministry said proper procedures were followed in making the contract
amendments at the centre of the inquiry, including seeking the legal opinion
of government law officers and the views of the appropriate authorities.
Inappropriate changes were made in the terms of a Rs.246 crore deal between
state-run broadcaster Prasar Bharati and the UK’s SIS Live, which led to
undue financial benefit to the British company, according to a report by the
panel headed by former comptroller and auditor general of India V.K. Shunglu.
The panel had been appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to examine the
irregularities in the conduct of the Games.
‘Prasar Bharati brass ignored I&B concerns, colluded with UK firm’
NEW DELHI: The V K Shunglu committee report pinned down Prasar Bharati
top brass, including former CEO B S Lalli for deliberately ignoring the I&B
ministry's concerns and colluding with private broadcast firm SIS Live ahead
of the Commonwealth Games.
The report's observations against SIS Live were denied by the firm though
the Shunglu panel said significant changes were made in the contract
relating to liquidation damages and sub-contracting without the ministry's
approval. The report said advance payment to SIS Live was hiked from 30% to
60% days before the Games despite the ministry's reservations. It has
charged Lalli and Doordarshan director general Aruna Sharma for causing a
loss of Rs 135 crore.
The report gives credence to I&B ministry's misgivings about the broadcast
deal awarded to the UK broadcaster. SIS Live's clout with Prasar Bharati is
evident in the major deviations that took place in the draft contract
between October 2010 and March 2011. This was in violation of Central
Vigilance Commission norms.
The changes agreed to by Prasar Bharati included changes in terms of
payments, performance guarantee, liquidated damages and duties and
liabilities of Prasar Bharati and SIS Live as well as sub-contracting. Some
of these demands were made by other entities shortlisted but were summarily
rejected by Prasar Bharati.
The report said, "Most of these changes were heavily loaded against the
interests of Prasar Bharati and diluted the liabilities and obligations of
SIS Live." This was done despite I&B ministry pointing out amendments to the
contract would leave the field open for legal intervention by other parties
who had lost the bid.
The committee found the public broadcaster ignored the ministry's advice to
conduct price comparisons and verification of services and was willing to
pay exorbitant rates for production and coverage of the Games. All this was
compounded by procedural delays.
The report said, "Ministry and finance wing of Prasar Bharati had expressed
concerns and questioned the propriety of awarding contracts under defective
and vitiated procedures adopted on a number of occasions. These concerns
were brushed aside by PB and DD on the grounds of criticality of time."
Ministry, GoM didn't stop DD loot: Shunglu
NEW DELHI: Senior political figures responsible for conduct of the Commonwealth
Games are in the line
of fire for their inability in preventing officials from colluding with a
UK-based broadcaster to cause a Rs 135 crore loss to the government.
The Shunglu committee's interim report on the graft-tainted Games said the
information and broadcasting minister and a ministerial group failed in
oversight functions. It recommended action against suspended Prasar Bharati
S Lalli and director
general of Doordarshan
Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ministry-GoM-didnt-stop-DD-loot-Shunglu/articleshow/7408045.cms
Singh warns of ”stern action” following Shunglu Committee”s report
Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has taken a ”serious view” of the
Shunglu Committee”s findings on alleged irregularities in awarding broadcast
rights of the Commonwealth Games, and warned of ”stern action” against the
“The Prime Minister has taken a serious view of the findings of the first
report of the Shunglu Committee on Host Broadcasting. The report has been
sent to Cabinet Secretary for urgent examination. The Cabinet Secretary has
been asked to submit his report within a week with his considered
recommendation on follow up steps,” said a Prime Minister”s Office release.
“Stern action is likely to be taken on the basis of Cabinet Secretary”s
recommendations. The Chief Executive Officer of the Prasar Bharati B. S.
Lalli has already been suspended by the Government,” the release adds.
The Committee, which is led by V K Shunglu, has in the first of a series of
reports submitted to the Prime Minister”s Office and Cabinet Secretary K M
Chandrasekhar last Saturday recommended that criminal cases be registered
against former Prasar Bharati CEO B S Lalli and Director General,
Doordarshan, Aruna Sharma for allegedly causing an estimated Rs 135-crore
loss to the exchequer for granting CWG broadcasting rights to UK-based SIS
Games probe nails Prasar, DD chiefs
New Delhi, Feb. 1: A probe has
indicted the suspended Prasar Bharati chief, B.S. Lalli, and Doordarshan
director-general Aruna Sharma for allegedly favouring British firm SIS Live
as host broadcaster for the Commonwealth Games and causing the government “a
loss of at least Rs 135 crore”.
The V.K. Shunglu committee, set up by the Prime Minister on October 25 to
investigate Games corruption, has recommended that Lalli and Sharma be
booked under penal code sections and the Prevention of Corruption Act. It
has asked the Centre to recover the “excess” sum paid to SIS Live.
Lalli, already suspended over alleged irregularities in Prasar, is a retired
IAS officer and Sharma a serving one. A PMO statement said Manmohan Singh,
to whom the panel handed its report yesterday, had taken a “serious view” of
the matter. “Stern action is likely... on the basis of the cabinet
secretary’s recommendations,” it said.
Shunglu panel indicts Lalli, Aruna Sharma on CWG deal
A High Level Committee, which went into alleged financial irregularities in
Commonwealth Games, has strongly indicted suspended Prasar Bharti CEO B S
Lalli and Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma, accusing them of
"collusion" with a UK-based firm which benefited Rs 135 crore in the
The two-member Committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V
K Shunglu has also recommended action against the two officials saying "they
cannot be recused from the acts of omission and commission which facilitated
this wrong doing".
Prasar Bharati awarded CWG contracts arbitrarily: Shunglu Committee
Shunglu Committee said in its first report Tuesday that Commonwealth Games
contracts were awarded by public broadcaster Prasar Bharati abrbitrarily
"without ensuring reasonable rates and overruling suggestions".
The report also noted that Prasar Bharati sanctioned highly inflated bills
for the host broadcasting of the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi in October
Most of the decisions to support and award the inflated bids were take by
the director general of Dooradarshan (Aruna Sharma) and then chief executive
officer B.S. Lalli (now under suspension) despite the strong contrary view,
the committee said.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Tuesday said it has taken a "serious view"
on the first report and will take "stern action" on it."The prime minister
has taken a serious view of the findings of the first report of the Shunglu
Committee on host broadcasting" by the UK-based SIS Live, a PMO statement
"The report has been sent to the cabinet secretary (K.M. Chandrasekhar).
Stern action is likely to be taken on the basis of the cabinet secretary's
recommendations," the statement added.
The PMO has also said that Chandrasekhar has been asked to submit his report
within a week with his "considered recommendation on follow-up steps".
The Shunglu Committee has indicted Lalli and Aruna Sharma for allegedly
causing Rs.135 crore loss to the exchequer in awarding to the British firm
the broadcasting rights for the Commonwealth Games.Shunglu, a former
comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India, was appointed to head a
committee to probe allegations of corruption in the conduct of the CWG.
Shantanu Consul, a former union government secretary, is the second member
of the panel.
Read more: http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a199082.html?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d481ede557997e0,0
flouted legal fee norms
Suspended Prasar Bharti CEO BS Lalli
forced the public broadcaster to pay “unjustifiably high fees” to the
government and private lawyers amounting to Rs 5 crore flouting the rules,
the probe panel has concluded.
The PM-appointed VK Shunglu panel has also slammed the questionable legal
opinions sought by the Prasar Bharti Corporation in matters related to the
telecast of Commonwealth Games held last October.
The Shunglu panel has relied on the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
report to put Lalli in the dock for the “payment of exorbitant legal fees”
to lawyers appearing in cases which included those challenging his
continuation in the job.
Official documents show that the Doordarshan (DD) paid around R5 crore to
government and private lawyers representing it in the Supreme Court and the
Delhi high court between 2007 and 2009.
This was 12 times more than R40 lakh spent on lawyers between 2004 and 2007
for the official litigation.
“Vigilance inquiry found that from the year 2006 to 2009 there was
exponential increase in payments made to the legal entities by Prasar Bharti
and 78% of these payments was on account of engaging senior private
advocates at ad hoc rates.”
“The panel of regular advocates was reduced to create grounds for increased
engagment of private advocates…. The whole process was based on decisions
taken by the CEO without the approval of the Prasar Bharti Board,” stated
the Shunglu panel report.
According to CVC officials, the existing norms permit Prasar Bharti to
engage lawyers from an empanelled list for ‘R15,000 per appearance.
The CVC report had indicted Lalli for paying ‘a minimum fees’ of R2 lakh to
external advocates for one appearance.
Six law officers of the government were paid R1.10 crore in cases related to
shutting out some private channels from the DD’s direct-to-home service.
Several flaws in Shunglu
Committee report: ZOOM
New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI)
Broadcast services firm ZOOM Communications today claimed there were several
inaccuracies in the Shunglu Committee's interim report on the Commonwealth
Games telecast deal.
"ZOOM Communications completed all the requisite deliverables including
hotels for all crew, wages for crew provided by ZOOM, helicopter hire, RF
licenses, freight for equipment, travel (overseas and domestic), clearing
and forwarding, consumables, warehousing and office space, local transport
and food, etc," the company said in a statement, adding there were "several
inaccuracies" in the report.
"All these were part of its scope of work in the sub- contract with SIS Live
and have resulted in costs currently estimated to be approximately Rs 129
crore for this project," it said.
Reacting on the committee's findings that UK-based SIS Live sub-contracted
the CWG broadcast deal with Prasar Bharti to it for Rs 177 crore, the firm
said, "The value of the sub-contract to ZOOM Communications is Rs 160.74
crore and not Rs 177 crore as stated in the finding of the First Report of
the HLC on Host Broadcasting."
"The figure of Rs 177 crore includes a 10.3 per cent service tax that is not
revenue to ZOOM Communications but service tax paid/payable to the
government of India."
The high-level committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V
K Shunglu in its report submitted to the Prime Minister's office on February
1, recommended registration of criminal cases against suspended Prasar
Bharti CEO B S Lalli and Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma.
It accused them of collusion with the UK-based firm which benefited to the
tune of Rs 135 crore in the broadcast deal for the sporting extravaganza
held here from October 3-14 last year.
"It is a worldwide practice that all primary contractors request for costs
from potential sub-contractors in order to arrive at their own competitive
bid price. In the case of CWG 2010... SIS Live too sub-contracted ZOOM
Communications for CWG 2010 only after requesting for competitive bids from
various international sub-contractors," it said.
ZOOM Communications, which is one of the largest Outside Broadcast services
provider in South East Asia, said that it made a profit of Rs 65 crore from
the CWG deal.
"ZOOM Communications has not made a profit of Rs 65 crore from the CWG
sub-contract. The company had estimated a profit of Rs 75 crore in October
2010 for the entire financial year 2010-11 (that is still underway and
ending on March 31, 2011). However, this estimated profit for the entire
financial year of 2010-2011 has now been revised to approximately Rs 52
crore," the company said.
It said that SIS Live and ZOOM Communications are two completely independent
companies having no linkages with each other, both at ownership and
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