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 Up loaded on Thursday June 02, 2011

Govt to clip Prasar Bharati officials’ wings
June 02, 2011 9:02:53 AM.   Annapurna Jha | New Delhi

Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/342904/Govt-to-clip-Prasar-Bharati-officials%E2%80%99-wings.html

         In the backdrop of difficulty faced in suspending BS Lalli as CEO of Prasar Bharati despite the Chief Vigilance Commissioner’s report against him and the recent controversies surrounding it, the Government is mulling amending the law to exercise more control over the public broadcaster.

It is seeking to arm itself with the powers to remove Prasar Bharati officials, including its Chief Executive Officer and other members of the organisation.

The Group of Ministers on Prasar Bharati, chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram, met on Wednesday (01-06-2011) and discussed amending the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990. The focus is on amending the rules regarding removal of its CEO, members and other officials.

The meeting attended by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Corporate Affairs Minister Murli Deora, Law Minister Veerappa Moily; Minister of State, Finance, Namo Narayan Meena and Minister of State in PMO V Narayansamy also discussed increasing the number of members — both full-time and part-time — in the Prasar Bharati.

The need for appointments to the public broadcaster to be based on relevant qualification and of experienced individuals in this field was also discussed, according to sources.

“Though the Group of Ministers is in favour of amending the law to give more power to the government in dismissal of the members and Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharati in case of charges of irregularities and misconduct against them, the members want to take a balanced view which should be acceptable to the wider political spectrum and passed by Parliament,” they said.

At present, the procedure for removal of CEO and members are very complicated, they pointed out adding a final decision on amending the law will be taken only at the next meeting scheduled at the end of the month.

Under the present law, Prasar Bharati CEO and members can be removed only by order of the President on the ground of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it by the President of India, has, on inquiry reported that the Chairman or such other member of the body, as the case may be, ought, on such ground, be removed, they pointed out.

The Group of Ministers also deliberated on deleting some provisions of the law enacted in 1990 as they have become obsolete. These included the one concerning constituting Broadcasting council.

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