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THE PUNJAB Agricultural University (PAU) at Ludhiana has finalised the hiring of former Doordarshan deputy director-general Om Gauri Dutt Sharma, who was booked by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with an alleged corruption case in July last year.
Sources confirmed that PAU had hired Sharma “as a consultant” for its television production work under its Centre of Communication and International Linkages (CCIL) and directorate of extension services.
Sources said Sharma has already joined the varsity but will be officially welcomed by vice-chancellor Dr BS Dhillon Tuesday.
A source from the communications department said, “The varsity has decided to speed up TV production work and soon would be producing its own capsules and discussion shows for farmers. A television studio is also proposed to be set up in communications department for which Sharma has been hired as a consultant. He would be providing overall guidance in television production and may also mentor journalism department students.”
It was in June last year that CBI during its raids at Jalandhar and Shimla offices of Doordarshan Kendras and Sharma’s official residence in Jalandhar found financial irregularities worth Rs 50 lakh.
He was then booked in a corruption and fraud case.
During his tenure as station director of Shimla (2007-12), Sharma allegedly allowed two distributors of local companies to telecast Hindi films, songs and telefilms on the basis of fake documents and without following guidelines. He was deputy director-general of Jalandhar Doordarshan when booked.
He retired from Doordarshan in October last year.
Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, president, PAU Teachers Association, said, “For a reputed varsity such as PAU, it is not advisable to hire a person against whom a CBI enquiry is going on.”
Sharma confirmed to The Indian Express that he had joined PAU. “I would not like to divulge more details now. I will talk about it in two-three days,” he said.
Unaware of CBI case, says vice-chancellor
PAU vice-chancellor Dr BS Dhillon said, “Yes, Om Gauri Dutt Sharma has been hired as a consultant.” Asked about the CBI case, Dhillon said, “We are not aware of any such case against him. However, if so, we will seek legal opinion.”