The Information and Public Relations (I&PR) Department on Monday said that it had identified seven fictitious TV channels which were given government ads.

An amount of Rs. 14.15 lakh had been already recovered from an empanelled advertising agency which had routed the ads through these seven channels, I&PR Commissioner Dana Kishore said in a note.

Already, an inquiry was ordered into the alleged ad fraud and it was continuing. Criminal cases would be filed against such agencies and channels based on the inquiry report, he claimed.

A show-cause notice was issued to the empanelled agency for embezzlement of funds in the name of fictitious cable TV networks.

According to Mr. Kishore, the agency replied that its sub-contractor was misled by an I&PR employee M.A. Majeed, who was subsequently suspended.

A decision of routing Government ads to cable TV channels through an empanelled agency was taken by the Government in 2013.

Accordingly, the department entrusted the work of displaying ads through cable TV networks and part payments were also made to them. Detailed procedures were followed to ensure that the programmes were telecast as per release orders issued by the department, the Commissioner added.

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