Prasar Bharati Fabricates Inquiry

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has received copies of letters from Nadoja Dr. Mahesh Joshi former Addl  DG exposing how in the absence of ‘Original’ documents, inquiries were conducted against him on fabricated and twisted charges. It reveals the criminality to suffocate him financially and take away much needed medical benefits only to force him withdraw complaints against Jawhar Sircar then CEO. The gravity of offence was an outcome of teamwork of like-minded Officers  comprising of Mala Ayengar, Amar Preet Duggal former CVOs and Sanjeev Kumar Jindal former ADG-Adm and presently a Joint Secretary who all joined hands in spreading the illegal harassment.

Sources in Ministry now reveal how Jawhar Sircar previous CEO hired and used bureaucrats to harass officers whom he considered uneasy and questioned inefficiency, misuse of public funds and appointment of incompetent Advisors at huge rates. In one such case that recently got fillip by series of new evidences and correspondence both Prasar Bharati and CVC are seized with for impropriety and financial illegalities that questions the management in the PB secretariat.

The matter relates to the ADG who was posted at Delhi and also in charge for the entire South Zone. His area of operations ranged all over the designated zone and he would thus require being present in the zone that was part of his running assignment. Yet he would invariably take approvals from then Director General for such tours as per procedure.  Jawhar Sircar infamous for the mess he created in organization was another bad selection made by the Government who was known to nail the competent and professional. His brush with most senior professionals was an outcome of his heady and lusterless demeanour that made him resign before his term even.

He perhaps wasn’t much aware of the tenacity of Dr. Joshi and picked up his usual tussle with him and for all perceived reasons. He foisted an inquiry against Dr. Mahesh Joshi terming it “causing loss to the Government by travelling without approval.”  He refused to accept the authority of DG who approved all such tours of Dr. Joshi. He even engaged one L R Aggarwal an outsider, to draft case against Dr. Joshi knowing well he was not on the panel and paid him big remuneration.  Going ahead with all procedural illegalities, he appointed S P Gaur a former bureaucrat as the Inquiry Officer. S P Gaur was earlier indicted by Liberhan Commission and was not empanelled to conduct any Inquiry.

But his inclusion as Inquiry Officer and the entire proceedings were nullified by CAT Bengaluru.  Despite Court’s direction, he went ahead with inquiry and was served with Contempt notice.  He apologized to the Court but handed over the inquiry report to CEO.  The Court ruled that any inquiry by Gaur would not be accepted yet he was illegally paid huge amounts at the instance of then CEO. This was in contravention to the judicial order.

Later another officer was designated for the job. Dr. Mahesh Joshi, the respondent requested for the documents which were dispatched by Prasar Bharati vides Memo no. A-10/5/2014-PPC (Vol. III) dated Oct. 24, 2016. These were attested, sealed and signed by one Rajan Bhasin Deputy Director. The official course for such attestation is after perusing the Original documents only. Thus they were officially signed by the designated officer. It surely had the sanction of then CEO and Member Personnel.

During the proceedings, the Inquiry Authority mentioned in the report that “Originals were not produced by Presenting Officer for the Prasar Bharati” which clouded the veracity of allegations, the inquiry and intentions of then CEO, Member Personnel and other officers.  It was also mentioned that case papers were submitted to the previous inquiry officer, S P Gaur a former Spl Secretary whose continuation was earlier quashed by CAT Bengaluru.  For one either these documents were not available or Gaur was conducting a flimsy investigation to silence Dr. Mahesh Joshi but it nevertheless questions how could ‘attested copies’ be handed over to the Respondent without physical availability of the originals ?

A senior officer in the Ministry revealed that CVC too has been apprised of the matter by the Petitioner along with CBI.  This not only sums up as destroying evidence and devising criminal conspiracy by a set of bureaucrats to deliberately harm and cause agony to a trusted professional.  The letter amply hints at filing of FIRs under various sections of criminalities against all for causing immeasurable insult, denting reputation and his social esteem.

The recent showdown between Smriti Irani and Chairman Prasar Bharati one learns had genesis of series of violation of rules and inability of Prasar Bharati Board to correct the system.  Prasar Bharati Board has erred on many counts but using official machinery to harass a senior officer for absolutely unfounded   reasons is a serious charge, the Management has to now answer ……  Imagine an office that refuses to pay better for getting quality work done has spent over five lakhs for realization of fictitious amount of Rs. 1560/  … !

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