The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to place its evidence against former Prasar Bharti CEO BS Lalli on his alleged involvement in irregularities as the head of the public broadcaster.
Lalli, a 1971-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, was suspended on December 21 last year following the charges. President Pratibha Patil had issued the suspension order.
Acting upon a presidential reference, a bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia asked the government to file a detailed statement related to the facts of Lalli’s suspension within four weeks. It also directed the former CEO to file its response to the charges within the next three weeks.
Lalli’s counsel, senior advocate KK Venugopal, urged the court to expeditiously hear the reference as he retires in December this year.
The allegations against Lalli include the controversial decision to give a contract for broadcast of the Commonwealth Games to a UK-based firm SIS Live.
The VK Shunglu panel, which has been investigating the alleged financial irregularities in the hosting of CWG games last October, had indicted Lalli and Doordarshan director general Aruna Sharma for their alleged complicity in the R246 crore deals for the telecast of the games. The panel has recommended registration of a criminal case against the two.
Lalli, who became the Prasar Bharti CEO in December 2006, was indicted by the Central Vigilance Commission that accused him of breach of Parliamentary privilege. He allegedly gave undue favours to some broadcast companies and financial mismanagement.
The presidential action against Lalli came following a letter by I&B ministry recommendation.