DG: ‘Delinquent DDK officials may lose their job’
Action likely after reply of 19 officials to show-cause notice
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Oct 5: Director General of Doordarshan, Tripurari Sharan, today made it clear that officials involved in Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar’s multi-crore productions scandal may lose their job on account of their omissions and commissions in Srinagar in the last few years. He said that DD and Prasar Bharti Broadcasting Corporation of
would initiate action against
19 delinquent officials immediately after receiving their reply to the
show-cause notice served on them last fortnight. India
Authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that DG DD took a 90-minute-long meeting with DDK Srinagar officials inside the station with the main agenda of streamlining the production system. Joint Secretary Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, DDG Engineering and Head of the Station, Aftab Ahmad, Director News, Bashir Malik, DDP and incumbent Head of Programme, Qayoom Wadera and Programme Executives of DDK Srinagar, besides a representative from DDK Jammu (Satish Dhar) participated in the meeting.
Sources said that deliberating on the huge liability created by a number of officials, including the removed HOPs Dr Rafeeq Masoodi and Shami Shair, DG made it clear that all the delinquent officials would have to face serious consequences of their involvement in the unprecedented mess of approving proposals of known and unknown ‘resource persons’ and getting the same dumped and selectively telecast in a scandalous manner. ‘Aap logoon par jald gaaz girne wali hai’ (Delinquent among you will soon be hit by lightning), he told the accused officials.
According to sources, DG made it clear that a former Director of DDK Srinagar and others involved in the multi-crore approval and production scandal would face termination of service as Chief Vigilance Officer of DD had already initiated departmental and disciplinary action against them. He said that show-cause notices had already been served on 19 officials and asked them all to furnish their written responses and explanations within the stipulated timeline. “We know what we have to do to clear this mess”, he said.
Sources present in the meeting said that the 1985 batch
Bihar cadre IAS officer, Mr Sharan called most of the
tainted officials by name and asked them to explain as to why they had exceeded
all limits in approving, producing and acquiring programmes from outsiders over
and above the station’s normal PPPS budget. It became clear that as against the
normal annual budget of Rs 3.5 Crore, DDK Srinagar officials had procured
nearly 15,000 programme episodes in just two years, raising liability of over
Rs 30 Crores.
According to widespread allegations in
officials approving and processing these proposals have favoured hundreds of
known and unknown private producers, in total violation of DD’s codes, norms
and procedures, after charging “advance commission” of 10 to 20 percent from
almost all of them. As against the new format of DVC Pro-50, almost all of
these programmes have been shot on the obsolete Beta Cam format and only
transferred to the new format for editing. While a large number of these
“approved” programmes were still under production or post-production processes,
those of influential persons have been partly put on air.
DG said in the meeting that a delegation of private producers had met with Minister I&B, Mrs. Ambika Soni, and other top officials of I&B, Prasar Bharti and DD on Thursday. He said the authorities were in favour of releasing the balance payments before the forthcoming festival of Eid-ul-Azha but made it clear that the payment of only those backlog programmes would be released which would be found “already telecast” and genuine on other parameters like format, quality and identification of the payees. These are estimated to be between Rs 2.98 Crore (as calculated by a 2-member team DD headquarters) and Rs 8.00 Crore (as calculated by other senior DD officials).
Sources said that DG called the accused officials by name and asked them to explain how they had put up and processed these proposals in violation of all norms and procedures. To begin with, he asked for Rajiv Sadhu and Javed Bukhari. He was told that both had gone to
to receive members of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Information &
Broadcasting. When he asked for Rasheed Javed, Ghulam Mohiuddin and Zeeshan
Fazil, he was told that all the three officials had retired from service in the
last one year. When he called, Kousar Parveen, he was told that she was now
posted in DDK Chandigarh. Srinagar Airport
Haleema Parveen and Sudesh Bakshi claimed that they had simply acted on the directions of then HOP and Director DDK Srinagar, Dr Masoodi. He asked them to explain why the programmes supposed to be in-house and produced fully within the station with DDK’s own infrastructure and facilities, had been outsourced to outsiders, creating huge financial liabilities on DD. None of the respondents had any convincing reply. DG finally asked them to furnish their replies within the stipulated time.
Asked why they had not produced proposal registers to the two-member DD team, some of the Programme Executives pleaded that same were lying in custody of CBI or Vigilance wing of DD.
‘Kejriwal’s charges baseless’
Significantly, DG of DD announced that daily news bulletin in Bodhi language would start from DDK Leh from October 20th. He asked Director News in J&K, Bashir Malik, to make necessary arrangements and ensure that the news bulletin from DDK Leh went on air from October 20th.
Later, in the afternoon, CEO of Prasar Bharti, Jawahar Sircar, too arrived in. Minister I&B, Ambika Soni, who is camping here since yesterday along with Parliamentary Consultative Committee on I&B, is scheduled to return to
early in the morning on Saturday. She addressed a hurriedly news conference at
Hotel Taj by Vivanta this evening, only to dismiss charges of quid pro quo
between Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and DLF as
“absurd, rubbish and unfounded”. New Delhi
In her absence, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, along with Rajya Sabha member and JKPCC chief, Saifuddin Soz, and President of Youth Congress (on behalf of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi), would inaugurate Radio Kashmir Srinagar’s newly installed 10-kw FM transmission at the AIR’s local station here tomorrow. FM-2 service would cover entire