Court queries Prasar Bharati head on CEO’s extensionMay 12th, 2009 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought a response from the chairman of the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on a public suit alleging that the tenure of its Chief Executive Officer B.S. Lalli was illegally extended, a charge the government has refuted.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul issued notice to Chairman Arun Bhatnagar on a petition by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation that also sought an independent investigation into the alleged financial irregularities in the organisation.
Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi, appearing for the government, contended that Lalli’s term was extended after the Prasar Bharati Act was amended to raise the retirement age to 65 from 62.
Lalli, who was due to retire April 21 at the age of 62, hence got the extension, Tripathi said.
He also refuted the allegations of the NGO and questioned the authenticity of documents submitted by it purporting to be minutes of a Prasar Bharti Board meeting, at which some members were believed to have raised questions about the CEO’s functioning.
The 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 irregularities and his autocratic functioning,” advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, maintained.