Court pulls up Prasar Bharti CEO

May 6th, 2009 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer (CEO) B.S. Lalli for allegedly bypassing the public broadcaster’s board and making it virtually redundant.
“We will not let the CEO work in this manner. Some eminent persons are on the board and he cannot bypass the board,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul said while asking Prasar Bharati to file a response on the allegation.

“The board has become virtually redundant because of the conduct of the CEO. There has to be some accountability. You file a detailed affidavit by the next date of hearing,” the bench said.

The court’s observations came while it was hearing a public interest petition seeking its direction to the central government to remove the CEO whose tenure has been extended.

It was alleged that Lalli, who was appointed in 2006, was to retire in April this year after attaining 62 years of age, but his tenure was extended after the government applied an amendment with retrospective effect.

The petitioner, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO, also sought an independent investigation into the allegations of financial irregularities by the CEO.

“He is acting with complete impunity and disregard for the directions and concerns raised by the board regarding the instances of financial irregularity and his autocratic functioning,” advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said.

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