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.