The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday searched the homes and offices of three All India Radio (AIR) officials in Ahmedabad who had allegedly broadcast their privately produced programmes on the state owned radio.
According to a CBI statement, transmission executive Mihir Mehta and programme executive Ashlesha Mehta of the Ahmedabad radio station had produced 102 episodes of a tribal affairs programme acquiring more than Rs.1 million (Rs.10 lakh) as production cost in 2006-07.
AIR Ahmedabad Station Director (Commercial Broadcasting Service) Sadhna Bhatt, who scrutinizes the privately acquired programmes before being broadcast, allowed "Dungre Vikas Na Vaira" programme to be aired "knowing fully that it was a private production of the (other) two", the CBI statement said.
Employees of the state controlled radio and TV are not allowed to do private productions and lend their voices for private programmes, according to an AIR manual.
Mihir and Ashlesha "obtained order for the production of 102 episodes of 'Dungre Vikas Na Vaira' and earned production cost to the tune of Rs.1,075,509 during 2006-07," the statement added.
"Bhatt entered into criminal conspiracy (with Mihir and Ashlesha) and allowed the broadcasting of the programme. She knew that it had the voices of Mihir Mehta and others," the statement alleged.
The programme was produced under the banner, Maanisha Creatives, "floated by Mihir and Ashlesha in the name of Harsh Dhruv", the statement added.
The residences and offices of the three AIR officers were searched and some documents related to the case were recovered, the CBI statement said