The Centre has withdrawn all accusations of impropriety against Nina Lath Gupta, the managing director of the National Film Development Corporation, who had approached the Delhi High Court against a sacking order, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
On April 23, the court asked the Centre to replace the order with a new one after Gupta’s lawyer said the allegations were serious and unfounded and made without the required disciplinary action that should have preceded the sacking, the report said. The government counsel told the court that the allegations would be withdrawn “in order to put to an end to the controversy”.
The court then asked the Centre to issue a simpler sacking order without the charges, so that she could avail of the remedies against the decision. The Centre issued the new sacking order on April 24.
On February 27, the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting had fired Gupta for alleged irregularities and for not following the “prescribed procedures” while running the government company. On March 8, the Delhi High Court ordered a stay on the decision, after which she returned to work.
In its first order, the ministry had asked Gupta to leave “with immediate effect”, without letting her serve the three months’ notice period. Instead, it decided to pay her three months’ salary, The Indian Express had reported on March 1, quoting unidentified officials.
The ministry’s primary reason for firing Gupta was reportedly that the National Film Development Corporation was charging high commissions to conduct government events.
Gupta also allegedly released advertisements to a few private channels beyond the 5% limit prescribed in the Electronic Media Policy. Under her charge, the National Film Development Corporation was also accused of not refunding a 15% commission to ministries that issue advertisements through it. She also allegedly did not follow the process of using funds to restore films, the Hindustan Times reported.