Harassment the Doordarshan Way ……..

Harassment the Doordarshan Way ….....

Vigilance in every government department is designed in a manner to remind its staff adherence of rules and proper conduct as laid in the book. It operates with utmost secrecy and keeps watch on the staff going astray.  But what if staff in the Vigilance goes astray and join hands with those having no locus standi in harassing both inside officials and those outsiders dealing with them!  This is precisely a new tool the Vigilance people in Doordarshan have now adopted.  This was infact going on for long where Officers found censurable and illegal given vigilance-umbrella as it is called. There are clear cases of fudging of documents, Medical certificates yet the officers were absorbed by Vigilance.  They rather facilitated their promotions by issuing clearance certificates and one does not have to extol reasons for doing that.  There were serious matters where women complained of sexual harassment, the Vigilance helped diffuse the matter and let the officer seek voluntary retirement …There are reasons where questionable and incompetent Computer Operators were inducted as Content/Broadcast Executives by some Engineer in-charge to compensate for his ‘harassment allegations’ which need immediate evaluation  … And not to speak of another honest officer at Delhi station, who was chargesheeted on the day of retirement, enervated, funds withheld, and many such stories that paint the Vigilance section of clear collusion with depraved elements.

Though one might not comment harsh but the stories that are filtering paint the organization low.  The command structure as termed in the armed forces is crumbling more with those not knowing media intricacies and others equally using that ignorance to siphon away gains. The role of Vigilance adds fire to the mess in organization. As such all temporary staff is unverified and antecedents are questionable the danger to public broadcast comes from such elements is serious and unimaginable. The bazaar is full of sleaze stuff that would shame all decent organizations and if true then another grave matter to be tackled as to how they made to the ranks … Surely there were insiders who helped them.  The spurt in frivolous complaints that are order of the day should have been discussed at the Board level to formulate steps than getting its Officers embroiled in indecent accusations thereby affecting their efficiency.  Emboldened, such elements are spreading tentacles so effectively and this is turning into a potent tool to push out regular officers.

One learns of another serious matter that has now been reported to CVC.  This is peculiar instance where internal Vigilance went overboard without tangible reasons and substance to arm-twist an outsider. This turns into another attempt to squeeze money out of a private Producer even after the concerned section, Finance and Director General issue the Sanction Order.

Now these are very common ploys to harass an already “fed-up Producer ” to have his Bank Guarantees released is sending a frivolous complaint … It could say anything … Someone in the concerned section and the Vigilance have to be in the loop to create obstacles that was well planned.  There is well settled practice and also the systematic procedure not to entertain extraneous correspondence that is not legally and contractually bound with office regarding some proposal. The one who enters into the agreement with department is the only legal entity to be dealt with and no other person to be entertained about such a proposal unless there are directions from Court.  How could invisible outsiders be created with false reasons and petty officials joining hands with him in scuttling the authority of Director General?

Doordarshan Delhi was all set to release the Bank guarantee for an approved TV Serial for DD Urdu, when ADP, DD Urdu channel sent in a letter on March 21, 2016 to Delhi station asking for payment to be stopped. This was as pointed out in response to a communication from the Vigilance section dated March 14, 2016.  Both letters nowhere mentioned that it was issued with the approval of DG since all such sanctions or their cancellations have to be approved by Director General first.  Did the Chief Vigilance Officer approve the letter from Sr. Vigilance Officer who was too eager to be a party to the matter?   Did the Vigilance investigate the contents and veracity of facts before asking payment to be stopped?  Did the Director General, Doordarshan then cancel the earlier financial sanction or any such ex-post facto approval given to make that letter legal?  Who all played unscrupulously with a Government Sanction Order? This is outright corruption and misuse of authority.

Producers have generally been complaining of such Experts in Committees also who have no media background but call shots in directions, camera angles while previewing the programme.  One Producer recounts how an Engineer asked to review the technical aspects stopped approval because the artiste was wearing a particular shirt, it was not liked !  Every time a Producer submits the ‘Rough Cut’, it is sent to a different set of Committee members and they all give fresh opinion again and the harried person has to redo everything afresh or till palms are greased.

And less said about the Group A officer who was suspended on the day of retirement without mandatory sanction of the Minister at Delhi station. Even then Solicitor General found no legality in doing that. Documents obtained under RTI reveals many things including strong nexus of the Vigilance and few officials who were inherently envious and insecure to frame charges howsoever fictitious and devoid of merit.   The Vigilance wing there too exposed its dirty side of pestering the honest and played active part in fictitious frame-up.

No one expects better things from a CEO but the new Director General has to prove lot taking on rogues in ranks first and streamline system with help of those who at least know the system than rank outsiders learning ropes from their personal staff !

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