Months after sacking National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) chief Nina Lath Gupta, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has to withdraw reasons for sacking her, according to The Indian Express report. On February 27, the I&B Ministry had issued sacking order in which it had accused her of irregularities and failing to adhere to prescribed procedures. However, on April 24, the I&B Ministry has issued fresh order in which it had removed Paragraph 2 of the first notification in connection with sacking Nina Lath Gupta from the post of NFDC Managing Director.
The April 24 order cited Clause 1.1 of the terms and conditions of January 2007 appointment letter whereby “the President of India has decided to terminate the services of Nina Lath Gupta, MD NFDC, with immediate effect giving three months’ salary in lieu of three months’ notice period”. The decision came after Gupta’s legal counsel had protested the charges in the first order and said these are “serious allegations which are unfounded and these allegations render the impugned order stigmatic and liable to be quashed as the impugned termination is not preceded by any disciplinary action under the Conduct, Discipline and Appeal Rules”.
The government’s advocate — “on instructions” — submitted that “in order to put to an end to the controversy, Paragraph 2 of the impugned order be treated as withdrawn, although it does not stigmatize petitioner”.
The court had in March put a stay on the Ministry’s order on Gupta’s plea that the reasons cited by the Ministry were unfounded and the sacking was “not preceded by any disciplinary action.” Notably, Gupta had re-joined NFDC mid-March. Subsequently, the I&B Ministry subsequently had sought for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into Gupta’s commercial operations as NFDC head and had planned to use the CBI preliminary enquiry to initiate disciplinary proceedings against her.
Gupta took over as NFDC MD in April 2006 and was awarded a five-year tenure from January 2007, in the first instance, or until the age of superannuation. She had approximately seven years to retirement.