It also denied any irregularity in the appointment of senior level officers like joint secretary (JS) and above.

Defending the appointment of Rajya Sabha TV channel CEO Gurdeep Singh Sappal, the Upper House Secretariat has claimed that due to his strong and dynamic leadership, the channel has emerged as a top-rated channel in terms of content, quality and objectivity. It also denied any irregularity in the appointment of senior level officers like joint secretary (JS) and above. Explaining that the CEO is engaged on contract basis for a fixed period with the approval of the Rajya Sabha chairman and does not carry any retirement or terminal benefits, the secretariat said the contract can be terminated by a notice of one month by either side.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> It claimed that his hard work, persistence, caliber was instrumental in setting up the 24X7 Rajya Sabha TV channel in 2010 and he was engaged as CEO based on his knowledge, experience, expertise, potential, co-ordination skills and capacity to deliver results. “He has since provided a strong and dynamic leadership to the channel and the channel has already emerged as a top-rated channel in terms of sobriety, objectivity and fairness of contents and analysis with detailed discussion on government policies, telecast of Rajya Sabha proceedings as its hallmark….All this proves that the choice made in engaging the present incumbent as CEO, RSTV was correct choice and in the best interest of the channel,” the Rajya Sabha said to the Delhi high court through an affidavit in response to a PIL highlighting the irregularities in the appointment of officers including the arbitrary appointment of Sappal as CEO. Dna, which has access to some official documents, had reported on April 6 that RSTV CEO Gurdeep Sappal is the first ever non-bureaucrat CEO of a government-run television channel. He has worked for two years as associate producer at TVI of Business India Ltd. Besides, he was assistant private secretary to a minister between 2004 and 2007. According to RTI information, the job of RSTV CEO was never advertised. Unlike (Lok Sabha) LSTV CEO, whose job was prominently advertised, Sappal was handpicked for the job without any competition. Later, a PIL was filed by NGO the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) through advocate Prashant Bhushan challenging the validity of clause 6 (A) of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat (Methods of Recruitment and Qualifications for Appointment) Order, and sought an order directing an independent inquiry into all the appointments made in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat since 2008. He also sought inquiry into appointment of the CEO of RS TV channel and also appointment of present secretary general (SG), a bureaucrat. The RS secretariat asked the high court to dismiss the PIL saying appointments of meritorious and outstanding persons were done as per the RS rules, which also permits the permanent transfer or deputation of persons serving outside the secretariat in connection with the Union or of state. “Since 2008, only five persons are serving outside the secretariat including the present secretary general, appointed on deputation basis…,” the affidavit added.

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RSTV defends appointment of CEO