The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Monday quashed appointment of 25 news anchors and reporters in Doordarshan News, citing irregularities and manipulations to favour certain candidates, including Union minister Krishna Tirath’s daughter.
A Bench headed by CAT chairman justice V.K. Bali indicted public broadcaster Prasar Bharti for arbitrarily changing appointment rules at the last moment to ensure the success of some candidates who did not perform well in the written test.
“The Prasar Bharati changed the weightage fixed for the interview from 25 per cent to 33 per cent on the eve of the interview, when the merit of the candidates on the basis of the three preceding tests was known. Not only this, the number of candidates to be called for interview was also increased from 30 to 35 for Grade III,” the CAT said.
“We are of the opinion that the process of selection for the posts in question suffers from arbitrariness and irregularities have been committed in the process...,” the CAT said setting aside the January 2009 recommendation for appointment of 25 journalists in DD News.
The number of journalists to be called for interview was increased from 30 to 35 to accommodate Tirath’s daughter Yashvi who ranked 33 in the written examination, it said.
“Yashvi Tirath, for example, was 33rd in the merit before interview. She was awarded 90 marks in the interview. This is a glaring example of arbitrariness obviously to favour her,” the CAT said. The list also included a relation of another Union minister.
The tribunal said another candidate, Anita Kalra Kalha, was arbitrarily recommended for selection as anchor-cum-correspondent Grade II when she had neither applied for it nor appeared in the audition test.
Prasar Bharti will challenge the order in HC, sources said.