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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Hamid Ansari cancels recommendation on Tejpal as Prasar Bharti board member

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 21, 2013
First Published: 22:30 IST(21/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:32 IST(21/11/2013)

Shortly after Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal's name was cleared for membership of the Prasar Bharti board, a high-powered panel withdrew its recommendation following allegations of sexual assault against the senior journalist.

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Sources said the committee, headed by vice-president Hamid Ansari, had cleared two names, including that of Tejpal, as members of the Prasar Bharti board on Tuesday.

But the alleged sexual assault on his junior colleague during a literary festival, THiNK Fest, organised by Tehelka magazine in Goa earlier this month cost Tejpal his membership.

Ansari on Wednesday decided to withdraw his name and cancel the appointment order.

The vice-president also called up information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari to apprise him of the move, the sources said.

The Prasar Bharati board comprises a chairman, an executive member (chief executive officer), a member (finance), a member (personnel), six part-time members, a representative of the ministry of information and broadcasting and the directors general of All India Radio and Doordarshan as ex-officio members.

The chairman is a part-time member with a six-year tenure. The executive member has a tenure of five years, subject to the age limit of 65 years while member (finance) and member (personnel) are full-time members with six-year tenures, subject to the age limit of 62 years.

The board meets at least six times in a year.

The selection committee is headed by the Rajya Sabha chairperson (vice-president), and comprises the chairman of the Press Council of India and one nominee of the president.

Tejpal's alleged sexual harassment of the colleague has snowballed into a major controversy. He announced on Wednesday night that he was "recusing" from his job for six months after an email by the woman journalist of his magazine alleging sexual assault on her by him was made public.


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