DD of­fi­cial de­fies or­der on PM’s event, sus­pended

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Swati Mathur & Yo­gesh Kabir­doss

New Delhi/Chen­nai: Pub­lic broad­caster Prasar Bharati has placed un­der sus­pen­sion a Do­or­dar­shan em­ployee in Chen­nai after she failed to “fol­low in­struc­tions” and tele­cast live Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s speech dur­ing his visit to the city on Septem­ber 30.

R Va­sumathi, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor (pro­gram­ming) at DD Pod­hi­gai, was served a sus­pen­sion or­der by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vem­pati on Oc­to­ber 1. While the or­der did not list out the rea­son for dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings against her, Prasar Bharati sources said the ac­tion was ini­ti­ated after Va­sumathi “in­de­pen­dently” and uni­lat­er­ally de­cided against tele­cast­ing por­tions of Modi’s events in con­tra­ven­tion to in­struc­tions.

“DD News was tele­cast­ing the pro­gramme live. So there was no rea­son for DD Pod­hi­gai to not fol­low suit. Even though she was asked to beam the pro­ceed­ings live, she de­cided not to, which is tan­ta­mount to in­sub­or­di­na­tion,” a top of­fi­cial told TOI.

Modi was in Chen­nai to at­tend two pro­grammes: the 56th an­nual con­vo­ca­tion of IIT Madras and Sin­ga­pore-In­dia Hackathon 2019 at IIT Madras’s re­search cen­tre. DD Pod­hi­gai broad­cast live pro­ceed­ings of the IIT-Madras con­vo­ca­tion, but not his speech at the hackathon, the first of the day’s events.

Sources in Prasar Bharati, Chen­nai, said Va­sumathi was di­rected to broad­cast live both events at IIT-Madras. “How­ever, she took a view to live tele­cast only the con­vo­ca­tion in the light of the model code of con­duct, which is in place for by­polls to the Vikra­vandi and Nan­guneri as­sem­bly seg­ments in Villupu­ram and Tirunelvel­i dis­tricts, re­spec­tively,” an of­fi­cial privy to the de­vel­op­ments said.

Prasar Bharati of­fi­cials said Va­sumathi will now face pro­ceed­ings in line with the Cen­tral Civil Ser­vices Rules and she will be asked to present her views once an in­quiry is ini­ti­ated. Her sus­pen­sion or­ders also said she will be re­quired to seek per­mis­sion from Prasar Bharati be­fore leav­ing Chen­nai, where she is posted.

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