The Delhi high court took a strong note of alleged failure of public broadcaster Doordarshan in answering queries regarding expenditure of over Rs 190 crore received from the Centre for the telecast of government advertisements.
“Here you (Doordarshan) have received the money from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, you will have to give the details,” a bench of justices BD Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar said, adding “will it be sufficient for you to say that you have used it”.
“You must be maintaining some account that under which head you have spent. You say that you have spent over Rs 190 crore and you do not have details regarding it. It means that anyone can come and take that money away,” the court said.
“The petitioner’s -- Parivar Niyantran Samiti -- case is that you are not giving details with regard to the money you have received from the ministry in year 2012-13 for telecast of advertisements,” the bench said, adding that “all you have to say that you received so much amount and you have spent it under so and so heads”.
The petitioner, who approached the high court seeking action against the officials of the ministry and Doordarshan claiming they denied information under the Right to Information Act, alleged that the money was used for some other purpose.
The society also told the court that Central Information Commission in March 2015 had directed them to provide the information sought by him.
The counsel for Doordarshan opposed the petitioner’s contention and said that the under the transparency law, they were not entitled to provide such information.
To this, the court asked, “In your CAG audit, don’t you have to give details with regard to the expenses.”
“You are giving fair answers, but not satisfactory. At the moment we are not convinced. Why you want to hide things,” the court asked, adding that “give details by way affidavit that under which heads you have spent the money”.
The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on January 25.