Shunglu report on Lalli, Sharma referred to CBI

Friday, February 18, 2011

NEW DELHI - Acting on the Shunglu Committee report, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday ordered Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma to revert to her parent cadre and to refer to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the committee report - which indicted Sharma and suspended Prasar Bharati chief executive officer B.S. Lalli.

The prime minister also ordered the information and broadcasting ministry to recommend disciplinary action against the two senior bureaucrats within two weeks, an official release said.

Sources said with the report being referred to the CBI, the two top officials will be questioned by the agency and even arrested. Sharma belongs to the Madhya Pradesh cadre of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

The prime minister has also ordered review of the claims for payments of dues by the London-based SIS LIVE, the broadcaster for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and to “ensure that there is no over-payment”. The Shunglu Committee had said that the two officials had favoured the SIS LIVE with an exorbitant contract and approved inflated bills, causing a loss of Rs.132 crore to the national exchequer.

If “over-payment” has been made, action should be taken to ensure the recovery of it, the prime minister has said.

The two-member Shunglu Committee, appointed to probe corruption in the Commonwealth Games held last October, submitted its first stand alone report on the broadcasting rights last month. Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, who studied the report, gave his recommendations to the prime minister last week.

The report indicted the two officials - Sharma and Lalli - for causing a loss of Rs.135 crore to the exchequer. Lalli is already under suspension.

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