Court dismisses suit against Prasar Bharati chief


New Delhi : In a decision that brings a big relief to the government and the Prasar Bharati chief executive B.S. Lalli, the Delhi High Court Friday dismissed a petition challenging his extension, saying the move was well within the law.

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A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar dismissed the petition of a non-government organisation, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, which had alleged that Lalli’s extension was not within the law.

The high court had earlier reserved its order after hearing the contentions of the central government, Lalli and the petitioner.

“In the present case, the continuation of Lalli in office after April 20, 2009 is not inconsistent with Section 6 (2A) of the Prasar Bharati Act,” said the order.

“On the date of coming into court of the amended provision, Lalli had not completed five years of tenure. Therefore, as long as Lalli did not complete five years as executive member or attain 65 years whichever earlier, his continuation as executive member and chief executive of Prasar Bharati was not in breach of the act.”

Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi had said during the hearing that the chief executive’s tenure got extended as the government had brought amendment in law and increased the upper age limit for the post from 62 to 65 years.

It was alleged that Lalli, who was appointed in 2006, was to retire in April this year after becoming 62 but his tenure was extended after the government applied the amendment with retrospective effect.