The law ministry has cleared the ordinance aimed at doing away with the complicated procedure to remove the top officials of the Prasar Bharati Corporation, which controls public broadcasters - AIR and DD.
The green signal by the government's legal arm came on a reference from the I&B ministry, which sought an amendment in the existing law to simplify the process and add fresh grounds for the removal of the Prasar Bharati chairman, chief executive officer (CEO) and its members.
"Presently, according to the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990, the chairman, CEO and members can only be removed after the President makes a reference to the SC for an inquiry on alleged acts of misbehaviour. The final decision depends on the outcome of the probe," said an official.
"It has been decided to add ineffective functioning and indiscipline as grounds for removal apart from misbehaviour. The ordinance is a result of the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue in July," said the official.
The ordinance seeks to do away with this procedure and proposes that the three member panel comprising the Vice -President, chairman of the Press Council of India and a nominee of the government, currently responsible for appointments of top officials - be also given powers to remove them.
The ordinance will now be sent for the Cabinet approval soon and will come into effect immediately after the President signs it, and will have to be ratified by the Parliament during the winter session.
The immediate fallout of the ordinance could be the ouster of the suspended Prasar Bharati CEO, BS Lalli, against whom removal proceedings are currently going on in the SC for the alleged financial and administrative irregularities committed by him.