New Delhi: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has denied CBI inquiry against former Director General of Prasar Bharati Aruna Sharma in the Rs 136 crore Commonwealth Games broadcasting scam. This has come as a big jolt to the ongoing investigation process against former Prasar Bharati CEO BS Lalli.

A senior CBI officer said, “Though the I&B ministry has denied permission for inquiry on Aruna Sharma, we have asked the ministry to re-consider its decision.”

As per the rules, for an inquiry on the Joint secretary or the officials of higher ranks, permission has to be sought from the respective departments.

Though the CBI had filed an FIR against BS Lalli, Private company Zoom International and SIS Live on March 4,2011 and simultaneously approached the I&B ministry demanding an inquiry against Aruna Sharma also.

However, based on the argument presented by Aruna Sharma in her defence, the ministry not only denied permission for a CBI inquiry, but has also asked CBI to clarify its charges against Sharma.

CBI with the clarifications on its accusations against Sharma has urged the ministry to reconsider its decision.

Notably, the V K Shunglu committee formed by the Prime Minister to look into Rs 136 crore broadcasting rights scam during CWG, held BS Lalli and Aruna Sharma equally responsible for distributing broadcasting rights to SIS Live, which was followed by the Prime Minister Office to initiate inquiry in this regard. But due to the intervention of the concerned Ministry, the inquiry could not be taken further.
A senior official said, “BS Lalli alone could not be held responsible for the entire scam.”