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DD honcho files damages suit against CBI sleuths

New Delhi, March 16: A senior Doordarshan officer has filed a defamation suit against a CBI deputy inspector-general and an inspector for allegedly falsely implicating him in a corruption case.

Mahesh Joshi, station director of Gulbarga Doordarshan Kendra, has claimed damages of Rs 2.5 lakh in the suit filed in a Bangalore court for the alleged “malicious persecution” by the CBI officers — Dilip Kumar, posted as DIG at Hyderabad, and inspector B. Pannirselvam — to spoil his career and reputation.

He wanted Rs 1 crore as damages, but could not ask for the amount as he was not in a position to pay the higher court fee, Joshi said.

The CBI director, too, has been made a party to the case. The court has issued notices to them, asking them to appear on April 19.

The petition says Joshi was posted as executive producer at Doordarshan Kendra Bangalore in July 1998. On January 18 next year, he was made in-charge of the “sponsor section”. By then, a commissioned film song-based programme, Lux Top 10, had already completed its 13 episodes.

Joshi alleges that Dilip Kumar, who was then posted in Bangalore as CBI superintendent of police, registered a case against him in 2000. It accused that Joshi has conspired in the “approval and telecast of Lux Top 10 and further by not collecting the required revenue, has caused loss to the state”. Four other Doordarshan officers were booked in that case, but the real culprits who showed favour were left out.

The CBI had also accused Joshi of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

When Joshi challenged the registration of a case against him in Karnataka High Court, summons to the CBI headquarters in Delhi failed to yield any result.

The high court quashed the FIR, observing that “there was no prima facie material to hold the petitioner (Joshi) guilty of offence”.

Karnataka High Court also took a dig at the CBI, saying the “theory of the conspiracy put forth by (the) CBI appears to be a tall story to digest”.

The Supreme Court turned down a CBI appeal against the high court order in February 1 last year.

Insinuating vendetta in his defamation plea, Joshi alleges that Dilip Kumar and Pannirselvam were “actuated with malice, deep hatred and vengeance” and filed a false case in connivance with some Doordarshan officials.

Joshi and Kumar had become acquainted when they were posted in Goa together. Kumar had not yet joined the CBI on deputation.

But the relationship turned sour when Dilip Kumar asked for several favours that Joshi could not fulfil.

The DD officer pointed out that instead of taking action against him, the CBI top brass has promoted him.

Joshi has also filed a criminal complaint against the CBI, claiming that 10 Indira Vikas Patras, each valued at Rs 5,000, which were among the documents seized by the CBI after raids on his house, are missing.

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