Prasar Bharti CEO Lalli suspended

President Pratibha Patil tonight ordered the suspension of Prasar Bharti's controversial CEO BS Lalli, who is in the eye of a storm facing allegations of irregularities in the country's largest public broadcaster. The order for the suspension has been signed by Patil, official sources said tonight. The order came on the eve of the President's deparature to Hyderabad for the annual winter sojourn. The Presidential action came after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) forwarded to Patil the letter by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recommending the suspension of 63-year-old Lalli, a 1971-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre.
According to the Prasar Bharati Act, the Chairman or a Member of PB can only be removed by an order of the President on the ground of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court holds an inquiry following a reference to it. Member (Executive) is the Chief Executive of the public broadcaster. Pending inquiry, the CEO can be placed under suspension as per the provisions of the Act. Prasar Bharati was formed in 1997 as a public service broadcaster. This is the first time that its CEO faces the prospect of being removed from the post and is a test case of sorts.