Decides to revert Director-General of Doordarshan Aruna Sharma to her parent cadre

Signallng his government's tough stand on tackling corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the report of the high level Shunglu Committee on Host Broadcasting issues related to the Commonwealth Games.

After considering the committee report and the report on the matter submitted by the Cabinet Secretary, the Prime Minister decided to revert the Director-General of Doordarshan, Aruna Sharma, to her parent cadre, official sources in the Prime Minister's Office said.

Taking note of the findings in the report, Dr. Singh directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to seek explanations from the suspended Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharati B. S. Lalli and the Director-General, Doordarshan on the allegations made against them and recommend appropriate course of action within two weeks. It is likely that the CBI, after examining the report, would look into the possibility of registering cases against the wrongdoers. The CBI may also conduct further investigations into the allegations of irregularities to gather more evidence.

The action from the Prime Minister came within two days of his interaction with the editors of television news channels during which he asserted that his government was “dead serious” about bringing to book all wrongdoers “regardless of the position they may occupy.”

Dr. Singh has directed the Ministry to review the claims made by M/s SIS LIVE, the U.K. based broadcast firm, jointly with Prasar Bharati and in consultation with their financial advisers to ensure that there is no overpayment. In the event of any overpayment having been made, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been directed to take action for recovery, after seeking due legal advice

The Shunglu Committee had strongly indicted Mr. Lalli and Ms.Sharma, for colluding with SIS LIVE during the Commonwealth Games 2010 that resulted in a loss of Rs.135 crore. It called for strict action against them under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Prime Minister also referred matters relating to the relationship between the government and Prasar Bharati and that between the CEO and the Board of Prasar Bharati, as also issues regarding the governance structure and the oversight mechanism put in place by the I & B Ministry in respect of such events, to the existing Group of Ministers, headed by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, official sources said.

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