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Lok Sabha TV CEO’s termination sparks debate

india Updated: Jun 01, 2014 00:49 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times
Rajiv Mishra

An overnight termination of service has stirred a row at the top level of Lok Sabha secretariat.

On Saturday, Lok Sabha TV (LSTV)’s CEO Rajiv Mishra’s tenure came to an abrupt end as an internal circular said that “the Speaker (Meira Kumar) has limited his tenure till May 31.”

While it apparently looked like a routine termination in the wake of the new ruling dispensation taking over the Speaker’s office, Mishra cried foul and accused outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar of removing him “unethically and unconstitutionally.”

“The Speaker was perhaps upset that we showed on the counting day that she lost in her constituency in Sasaram,” Mishra alleged.

LS officials however refuted Mishra’s allegations and pointed out that his original contract had already expired last year and he was given extension “till further orders”.

“An extension of contract cannot be in practice for an indefinite period of time. As Speaker is going out, she has rightly decided to place a time limit to Mishra’s extension,” said an official.

But Mishra alleged that he was not given any hearing or time to argue for his continuance: “On Friday night the order was signed and I was out of office on Saturday. I turned around the loss-making channel into a profit-making one.”

Mishra said he was selected by a panel of experts through a very transparent process in 2011 for the job. “I will again apply for the job. I tried to meet Kumar several times but she remained unreachable,” he added.