Security clearance sought for Prasar Bharati board nominees

Having to drop Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal from the list of recommended members of the Prasar Bharati board after allegations of his sexual misconduct with a woman colleague emerged, the information and broadcasting ministry has asked for home ministry security clearance for the rest of the candidates.

A committee headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari had recommended Tejpal as one of the part-time members of the Board, but he was dropped from the position after the sexual assault charges came to light.

"It has since been decided to seek security clearance from Ministry of Home Affairs in respect of all the candidates under consideration for the post of Member, Prasar Bharati Board," the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said in a reply to an RTI query raised by activist Subhash Agarwal.

The Prasar Bharati Act does not allow “character certificate or intelligence report” of those in contention for part-time Board member. Their willingness to serve on the board is obtained after their selection.

The ministry had sent the list of 26 names, including that of Tejpal, to the Vice President’s Secretariat for the consideration of the selection committee which the Vice President heads. The process was initiated to fill in two vacancies of part-time members of the Prasar Bharati board.

Tejpal was arrested after a colleague accused him of sexual assault in Goa.

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