Kapil Sibal, wife reject Barkha Dutt’s allegations of not paying Tiranga TV staff
The Sibals say Dutt was removed on “disciplinary grounds” and so she is not entitled to any compensation
Accused by journalist Barkha Dutt of not paying salaries to Tiranga TV staff, including her, and asking employees to leave without any compensation, Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who is the channel financier, and his wife Promila Sibal, who is the director, have refuted the charges, according to a media report. The channel, which started nearly six months back, has closed operations.
Dutt, in in a series of tweets on Tuesday, alleged that the Sibals have not paid channel staff and have not fulfilled the promises made in the employment contract. She claimed many of these employees had left their jobs to join the channel and were promised a minimum tenure of two years.
Rejecting the allegations, Kapil Sibal has reportedly said all commitments made by the channel were honoured. He claimed the channel has paid salaries to all employees for June and they have also been offered a month’s salary as compensation. Promila Sibal added that the two-year tenure claim made by Dutt was a “blatant lie”.
According to Promila, the contracts say that probationers can be removed with just three-days’ notice but even they are being offered a month’s salary to leave.
She went on to say that Dutt’s contract was for one year starting October 1, 2018. And since her contract was due to expire at the end of September 2019, she was not entitled to any compensation beyond that.
According to Kapil Sibal, Dutt’s services were terminated on “disciplinary grounds”. Her services were terminated on July 13 after she levelled allegations against the channel and she was not entitled to any compensation beyond that day.
Dutt, however, rejects the allegation, claiming that she was sacked for speaking out against the treatment of other staffers.
“The contract clearly stipulates that if the channel shuts before the year or even if the contract is terminated, the remaining period of a year is to be paid,” the report quoted her as saying.
The channel management has, meanwhile, claimed that Dutt did not side with the agitating employees initially. She started crying foul only after her own contract was terminated earlier this month. Dutt is said to have been costing the channel Rs 30 lakh a month. Also, as opposed to a sanctioned strength of four professionals, her team grew to have 17 persons. It is being said that while the management offered Dutt Rs 70 lakh to amicably settle the issue and finalise her departure, she demanded more.
It is being said that the denial of recording equipment by Tiranga TV for covering Yashwant Sinha’s book launch function on Monday, which was moderated by Dutt, served as the trigger for Dutt's outbrust . Before this, she allegedly stayed mum regarding the sacking of employees despite pleas of subordinate staff. Her only response to them was that she wasn’t an employee but merely a Consulting Editor. However, when she found herself in the firing line, she retaliated.
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