ED registers money laundering case against Lalli
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on registered a money laundering case against suspended Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli in connection with the awarding of the Rs 246-crore broadcast rights contract for Commonwealth Games.
The Directorate has registered the case after it found instances of violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the deal related to transfer and transaction of funds. The case was registered today, ED sources said.
The ED will now summon Lalli for questioning and recording of his statement in connection with the deal. The case pertains to Prasar Bharati striking a Rs 246-crore deal with a UK-based broadcast firm-- SIS Live—for the coverage of the Commonwealth Games that took place here last year.
The Shunglu Committee, set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to investigate alleged financial and other irregularities in the conduct of the Games, had indicted Lalli and former Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma in the award of broadcasting rights for the Games which, it was claimed, had led to a loss of Rs 135 crore loss to the exchequer.
The CBI has also registered a case for probing the same deal in March this year. The deal came under scanner because the public broadcaster entered into a Rs 246-crore agreement with SIS Live for the broadcast of the sporting extravaganza and later, the UK company sub-contracted the same to an Indian firm `Zoom Communication` for just Rs 177 crore.
The I-T department was the first to raise a red flag over the deal following scrutiny of the sub-contract papers. The ED is probing the deal under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The high-level committee headed by former CAG V K Shunglu, in its report, 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 commission which facilitated this wrong doing.
The Shunglu committee had also said certain actions in the award of the deal seem to attract penal provisions under IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act which needs to be separately investigated.
Both Lalli and Sharma denied allegations of any wrongdoing.