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Ministries fight over Lalli case

delhi Updated: Mar 14, 2011 23:54 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times
Supreme Court

The information and broadcasting (IB) ministry has jammed the law ministry’s move to change the law officer representing the ministry in the Supreme Court in a case seeking the removal of suspended Prasar Bharti chief BS Lalli.

The ministry has informed the legal arm of the government that Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Mohan Parasaran should continue and any change in the legal team at this juncture would be opposed, HT has learnt.

Following a reference by the President to begin removal proceedings against Lalli, the apex court had on February 14 given the government four weeks’ time to furnish evidence

against the accused.

In the meanwhile, Attorney General GE Vahanvati wrote to the Law Ministry that another ASG Gourab Banerji would assist the court in his place.

“I had earlier asked ASG Mohan Jain to appear in my place, but in the changed circumstances I have asked ASG Gourab Banerji to assist the court. Parasaran can represent Prasar Bharti and coordinate with Banerji,” Vahanvati wrote to law ministry.

But the I&B ministry is not too keen on the proposal. “Parasaran has been handling the case since the beginning and is familiar with all the details, and should, therefore, continue to represent the ministry,” it wrote back to the law ministry.

“The issue will be sorted out soon and the original position will be restored in accordance with the I&B ministry’s proposal,” said a top law ministry official. Interestingly, it was Parasaran, who in August last year, had asked the I&B ministry to refer Lalli’s case to the President and subsequently for a Supreme Court probe to initiate his removal.