2G: CBI to file FIR against Lalli

CBI is likely to lodge an FIR against suspended Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli on Friday.

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2011, 20:19 PM IST

New Delhi: The CBI is likely to lodge
an FIR against suspended Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli
on Friday, in connection with alleged irregularities in the award of
broadcasting rights of Commonwealth Games reportedly resulting
in a loss of Rs 135 crore to the exchequer.

The case is likely to be filed under relevant provisions
of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code,
official sources said.

The move comes after Information and Broadcasting
Ministry cleared the deck for prosecution of Lalli facing
allegations of corruption relating to broadcast rights given
to SIS Live.

However, sanction for the prosecution of former
Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma`s role in the matter
is yet to be given by the Ministry which said it is examining
the reply given by Sharma, a Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer.

Soon after getting clearance from the Prime Minister`s
Office to initiate action against both the officials on the
basis of the recommendations of the V K Shunglu committee, the
CBI had written to the Ministry seeking its nod to go ahead
with criminal proceedings against them.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after receiving the
report, had directed that explanations be sought from Lalli
and Sharma.

Both Lalli and Sharma denied allegations of any
wrongdoing. Sharma was ordered to be reverted back to the
state cadre while Lalli was suspended.

The Prime Minister decided to refer the matter to CBI
after considering the Shunglu committee report and the report
given by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar.

Based on documents made available, the committee has
concluded that the actual cost of the contract awarded to SIS
Live was at best about Rs.111 crore, thus resulting in a gain
of at least Rs.135 crore to to the company.

In its report, the committee had fixed the
responsibility for providing "undue benefit" to SIS Live and
Zoom Communications primarily on Lalli and Sharma and said
they cannot be recused from the acts of omission and

The committee had also said certain actions seem to
attract penal provisions under IPC and the Prevention of
Corruption Act which need to be separately investigated.

The Prime Minister had also directed the ministry to
review the claims made by SIS LIVE, jointly with Prasar
Bharati and in consultation with their financial advisers, to
ensure that there is no over-payment.