New Delhi: A Delhi court has accepted CBI’s closure report in a case involving former Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli saying the probe could not establish any “Mens rea” (guilty mind) or “criminality” on his part on charges of allegedly committing fraud in awarding broadcasting rights for CWG 2010.
CBI, in its closure report, had said that they have not found substantive evidence against Lalli and Managing Director of Delhi-based Zoom Communications, Vaseem Ahmed Dehlvi, also the resident director of UK-based SIS Live.
“Thus, investigation into the allegations against accused B S Lalli and other accused persons could not establish any mensrea or criminality on the part of the accused persons.
“In view of the… discussion, there is no infirmity in the closure report filed by the CBI. Same is therefore, accepted,” Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain said.
The closure report was filed by CBI in July last year.
CBI, in its FIR, had booked both Lalli and Dehlvi in 2012 for the offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and criminal misconduct by public servant in the matter of award of ‘Production and Coverage’ for the 2010 Commonwealth Games held at New Delhi.
The probe agency had alleged that a major portion of Rs 246 crore contract given to UK-based SIS Live by Prasar Bharti for “production and coverage” of 2010 CWG was sub-contracted to Zoom Communications for only Rs 177 crore resulting in loss of Rs over 65 crore to the exchequer.
“The profit accruing to M/s Zoom Communications itself was shown as high as Rs 65 crores on the basis of advance tax paid by the firm but investigation established that despite the sub contracting of a major portion of contract by M/s SIS Live to M/s Zoom Communications, a significant portion was still carried out by M/s SIS Live, in terms of providing key personnel as well as different types of equipments.
“Similarly the documents collected during investigation revealed that M/s Zoom Communications made only a profit of Rs 2.5 crores during the financial year 201011. Prasar Bharti also revoked the bank guarantee of M/s SIS Live, the matter of full payment being under arbitration,” the court said.
The allegation that a number of conditions were relaxed in favour of SIS Live, including a provision pertaining to sub-contracting to Zoom Communications was also not
established in the investigation, it said.
The case was referred to the CBI by the Prime Minister’s Office after considering the Shunglu committee report and a report given by the then Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar.
In its report, the Shunglu committee had fixed the responsibility for providing “undue benefit” to SIS-Live and Zoom Communications primarily on Lalli and former Doordarshan Director-General Aruna Sharma and had said that they cannot be recused from the acts of omission and commission.