Bharatnatyam danseuse Leela Samson and four others have been charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged irregularities in renovation of an auditorium worth Rs 7.02 crore in 2010.
Samson has been booked along with the then officers of the Foundation: Chief Accounts Officer TS Murthi, Accounts Officer S Ramachandran, Engineering officer V Srinivasan and proprietor of CARD and Chennai Engineers.
Known to enjoy close proximity to Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Samson was the dance tutor of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Vadra. Samson held six key positions in the 10 years of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime and wielded enormous clout.
Samson,was appointed as the director of Kalakshetra by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in April 2005. She was later rewarded with sincecures including a stint as the chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi in August 2010 and as the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (an autonomous body that censors and certifies films in India) in April 2011.
During her tenure at Kalakshetra, Sangeet Natak Akademi and the censor board , Samson faced several allegations of corruption, illegal appointments and arbitrary awarding of contracts, financial irregularities, and anti-Hindu bias.
In 2015, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in a report said the "works were done without the formal sanction of the governing board" of Kalakshetra Foundation.
The CAG's report came after the governing body in 2012 ordered a probe into the auditorium's renovation, after which the work stopped and Samson left.
In Aug 2014,when Samson was the head of CBFC, CBI arrested its Chief Executive Officer Rakesh Kumar in a bribery case. Kumar was under the agency’s scanner after an authorised agent of the Censor Certification registered a bribery complaint against another agent.
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