Govt to amend Prasar Bharti Act



New Delhi: Removal of the CEO of public broadcaster Prasar Bharti will be easier under a legislation being introduced in the Parliament session beginning this month.

Reference to the Supreme Court will not be required for the purpose once the amendments to the Prasar Bharti Act are carried out, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said.

The government's move comes in the backdrop of the problems it encountered in the case of CEO B S Lalli who was suspended in the wake of allegations of financial irregularities during the Commonwealth Games.

Soni said a Group of Ministers, a Parliamentary Standing Committee and the Shunglu Committee set up to look into CWG scam had given certain suggestions for better supervision of Prasar Bharti.

One of the things which have been suggested is that a Committee, headed by the Vice President and including the Chairman of the Press Council of India and I&B Secretary, should be set up to select as well as remove the Prasar Bharti CEO, if required for "whatever reason".

"Under the present Act, there can be no supervision. There is no contact. So keeping all those things in mind, we have put together some amendments in the present act and have sent it in the form of a cabinet note," she told reporters.

Asked whether the changes had been mooted because the present Act gives sweeping powers to the CEO and the government had faced problems in removing Lalli after his name figured in the CWG scam, she said, "I am just saying that."

PTI