It seems that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a case of criminal conspiracy against New Delhi Television (NDTV) managing director Prannoy Roy in 1998.
The background to the case seems to be long war between Star's CEO and the Government which began July 1996, even before Basu joined Rupert Murdoch's channel.
Indian Express in an article CBI case against Prannoy Roy dated 20 January 1998 reports
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a case of criminal conspiracy against New Delhi Television (NDTV) managing director Prannoy Roy, former Director General of Doordarshan and present Chief Executive Officer of Star TV R Basu and five other top officials of Doordarshan.
The First Information Report (FIR) filed on the basis of “source information'' says that the undue favour granted to Prannoy Roy had led to a loss of approximately Rs five crore to Doordarshan. The FIR names Ashok Mansukhani, the then Deputy Director General (DDG) of Doordarshan, Harish Awasthi (DDG), Shiv Sharma, the then Director General (DG), S Kapoor, the then DG, S Krishnan, the then DG, Prannoy Roy, Managing Director NDTV and the television network too
According to the CBI charge-sheet, DD suffered a loss of over Rs 3.52 crore due to the ``undue favours'' shown to NDTV as its programme The World This Week (TWTW) was put in `A' category instead of `special A' category.
Outlook in its article Star Crossed writes
In the case of NDTV, CBI records show that Doordarshan gave the producers access—free of cost—to vis-News footage that was received by the Doordarshan Kendra at Bombay. The CBI dossier also shows that Roy was given microwave and satellite uplinking facilities without being levied the correct charges.
The CBI dragnet has also swept over other Doordarshan officials like Bimla Bhalla. Records in the possession of the CBI show that, apart from the favours shown in the case of The World This Week, Basu had also made similar concessions towards Roy in programmes like News Tonight and South Asia News Capsule. Records summoned by the CBI in the latter show that the rate at which payment was to be made to NDTV for this capsule was not settled when Doordarshan began broadcasting the programme.
The confusion arose when the costing committee arrived at a fig-ure of Rs 50,000 per episode and NDTV claimed a payment of Rs 1.76 crore at the rate of Rs 81,000 per episode. In a letter to Doordarshan, NDTV stated that this had been agreed upon by the then OSD (news) Bimla Bhalla. The dispute over the payment has, however, not been settled till now.
Bimla Bhalla , Former additional secretary, cabinet secretariat (RAW), joined Star as executive director in January 1997
NDTV did declare this in their prospectus released early 2004. The prospectus declares
The Company and its promoters have also been named in an First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in January 1998 against certain DD officials in relation to certain violations of rules by DD officials pertaining to certain programmes produced by the Company for telecast by DD. Till date, no case has been instituted against the Company based on the investigation carried out pursuant to the FIR.
Nothing much is known about current status of this issue