Controversies do not seem to spare CEO Prasar Bharati so easily. More than issues knocking his doors, he himself weaves plots that wise men would throw them in bin … But nevertheless it helps him be in news.
Now out of many stories doing rounds in the Prasar Bharati Secretariat one that catches interest is CEO visiting the Secretary I & B recently. It is reported he asked the Secretary to initiate proceedings against a senior officer of Doordarshan who recently served CEO a legal notice. Since it happened to be a personal notice, the Secretary was wise in washing hands off and advised the CEO to fight his own personal battles. Now embittered by this refusal of Government helping him, he is reportedly toying with another idea of initiating a flaky and mystifying inquiry under the Conduct Rules against the said officer.
It may be recalled that same officer sometime back quoting Supreme Court ruling on beacon lights compelled CEO to remove such lights from his official vehicle. The story was carried well in media. Piqued by getting pointed by a conscientious citizen officer, he was again ticked for providing incorrect information for conducting an official tour.
The citizen-officer informed the Chief Minister Karnataka of the illegality of providing State facilities to a person who had provided incorrect information of his status and enjoyed facilities he was not qualified for. CEO while going on visit to Karnataka sought State guest status which as per the protocol book is not allowed. Sources confirm his office even conveyed that he was an IAS, West Bengal cadre, 1975 and there was no mention of having retired. The letter one also learns, sent to the CM, Karnataka mentioned that he was enjoying Secretary-level facilities in Prasar Bharati and be provided with same.
This becomes the most serious part of misquoting facts when no such mention is ever made and even Prasar Bharati Act was not applicable on State Govts. It was a mechanism to bring in autonomy in AIR and Doordarshan only and the government thus was not bound to accord that status to a retired bureaucrat. It may be pointed out that no retired bureaucrat is ever accorded state facilities. The protocol rules governing the state do not mention anything for such officers and this is a clear matter of misrepresentation on part of CEO.
It further becomes serious now with an NGO filing a PIL in the High Court of Karnataka and asking the government to realize full amount for all facilities the CEO used.
It is reported that CEO on the other hand is thinking in all seriousness to hold inquiry against the officer under Conduct Rules for writing to the Chief Minister. This seems to be turning into hilarity that more than the officer he is itching to corner, the CEO might find egg on his face. The rules on the contrary apply against CEO for misusing authority, if story circulating has substance. The officer has not erred and hence does not fall under any provision of Conduct Rules … One really wonders lack of basic legal understanding of a former Secretary to the Government and how can Ministry be a mute spectator and get embarrassed.