The Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Delhi has dismissed an application challenging the March 21, 2011 revised recommendation of the selection committee for the posts of Director General of All India Radio/Doordarshan.

The Bench comprising Chairman Justice V.K. Bali and Member Ramesh Chandra Panda dismissed the application filed by G. Jayalal, who was affected by the revised recommendation. He had also challenged the March 30 order by which L.D. Mandloi was given charge as DD of AIR in addition to his post of DG, Doordarshan.

The Bench in its recent order, however, directed the Centre and Prasar Bharati to convene a meeting of the Board as early as possible to determine the order of merit of the respective candidates. It said the exercise must be completed as expeditiously as possible but definitely within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order.

Justice Bali, who wrote the order, said: “If the outcome of the meeting be only for endorsement of the view that came about in showing the order of preference of candidates through circulation, nothing more would be required to be done, as surely, the candidature of those who have been shown in order of preference for both the posts under contention, has since already been approved by the ACC. However, if in the deliberations that may take place in the meeting of the Board, as ordained, a different result may ensue, the Board shall make recommendation accordingly for approval of the ACC, and in that event, if the appointment of any of the selected candidate is to be set aside, the order in that regard shall be passed.”

The Bench said: “Insofar as Mr. Mandloi, 4th respondent, is concerned, if his selection is not approved for the post of Director General (AIR), then the same shall be recommended for approval for the post of Director General (Doordarshan). The final selection would abide by the recommendations that may be made in the meeting that has now to be held by the Board, and the approval of ACC in that regard.”

Mr. Jayalal, in his application claimed that he was recommended by the selection committee constituted by the Prasar Bharati Board for his appointment as Director General, All India Radio, but the recommendation of the selection committee had been overturned on the dictates of the government. He alleged that the selection committee, changed its recommendation, preferring Mr. Mandloi, the 4 respondent, whereas the original recommendation of the committee was that while the applicant would be the first choice, the 4th respondent would be second. He alleged that undue pressure from the concerned Ministry had resulted in revision of the recommendation with mala fide intentions, and without any valid reason the Board members were directed to append their signatures to suit certain candidates.

Rejecting the application, the Bench said: “Prima facie, or, on first blush, the contention raised by the applicant may appear to be impressive. There may be a presumption that the names arranged in the minutes of the meeting may be in order of preference, but the same, at the most, would be a rebuttable presumption. It cannot be said to be irresistible. It appears to us that if the names would have been in order of preference, it does not appear plausible that the name of Mr. Mandloi would have been mentioned under both posts. It may be so, but it does not appear probable. The things have been clarified by the OSD, when we required him to file an additional affidavit.”

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