Manmohan Singh warns of 'stern action' following Shunglu Committee's report

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has taken a 'serious view' of the Shunglu Committee's findings on alleged irregularities in awarding broadcast rights of the Commonwealth Games, and warned of 'stern action' against the guilty.

"The Prime Minister has taken a serious view of the findings of the first report of the Shunglu Committee on Host Broadcasting. The report has been sent to Cabinet Secretary for urgent examination. The Cabinet Secretary has been asked to submit his report within a week with his considered recommendation on follow up steps," said a Prime Minister's Office release.

"Stern action is likely to be taken on the basis of Cabinet Secretary's recommendations. The Chief Executive Officer of the Prasar Bharati B. S. Lalli has already been suspended by the Government," the release adds.

The Committee, which is led by V K Shunglu, has in the first of a series of reports submitted to the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar last Saturday recommended that criminal cases be registered against former Prasar Bharati CEO B S Lalli and Director General, Doordarshan, Aruna Sharma for allegedly causing an estimated Rs 135-crore loss to the exchequer for granting CWG broadcasting rights to UK-based SIS Live.

B S Lalli was suspended as Prasar Bharati CEO on December 21 last year.The broadcast deal was a stand-alone subject and sometimes there are problems in holding back information for too long. The report is expected to be made public tomorrow evening," The Indian Express quoted Shunglu, as saying.

Running into nearly 1,000 pages with annexures - the report is 55 pages - the Committee is said to have indicted the two bureaucrats for granting rights to SIS Live for Rs 246 crore, saying that the actual cost of coverage was only Rs 111 crore.

Shunglu Committee has recommended that the duo be charged under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and that disciplinary action be taken.

The Committee found that on the day SIS Live bagged the Rs 246-crore contract, it outsourced the broadcasting rights to Zoom Communications for Rs 176 crore and made a profit of Rs 70 crore.

When Income Tax sleuths raided Zoom Communications following large-scale uproar over corruption in the CWG, it found that the company had spent only Rs 111 crore, according to records it obtained during the raid. (ANI)

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