for CBI probe against Lalli
NEW DELHI, 1 MAR: Information and broadcasting ministry has given the go
ahead for a CBI probe against suspended Prasar Bharati CEO Mr BS Lalli in
connection with allegations of corruption in awarding broadcasting rights of
Sources said the
ministry has given the sanction to CBI to probe Mr Lalli's role in the award
of broadcasting rights of Commonwealth Games causing Rs 135 crore loss to
the exchequer. However, it is yet to give its nod for a CBI probe to
investigate Doordarshan director-general Ms Aruna Sharma's role in the
matter. Ministry sources said they were examining the reply given by Ms
Sharma, a Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer.
Soon after getting clearance from the
Prime Minister's Office to initiate action against both the officials on the
basis of the recommendations of the VK Shunglu committee, the CBI had
written to the ministry seeking its nod to go ahead with criminal
proceedings against them.
Prime Minister Dr
Manmohan Singh, after receiving the report, had issued directions that
explanations be sought from Mr Lalli and Ms Sharma in the award of
broadcasting rights of Commonwealth Games causing Rs.135 crore loss to the
exchequer. Both Mr Lalli and Ms Sharma had denied allegations of any
wrongdoing. Mr Sharma was ordered to be reverted back to the state while Mr
Lalli was suspended.
The Prime Minister decided to refer
the matter to CBI after considering the report on the Host Broadcasting
Issues related to the Games and the report given by Cabinet secretary Mr KM
Chandrasekhar. In its report, the committee had fixed the responsibility for
providing “undue benefit” to SIS Live and Zoom Communications primarily on
Mr Lalli and Ms Sharma and said they cannot be recused from the acts of
omission and commission which facilitated this wrong doing. The committee
had also said certain actions seem to attract penal provisions under IPC and
the Prevention of Corruption Act which need to be separately investigated.
The Prime Minister had also directed
the ministry to review the claims made by M/s SIS LIVE, jointly with Prasar
Bharati and in consultation with their financial advisers to ensure that
there is no over-payment.
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