M A I N   N E W S

CBI arrests Kalmadi in CWG scam
Forgery, corruption charges against sacked Organising Committee chief; 2 more from his team held
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 25
Six months after the end of the Delhi Commonwealth Games that was mired in controversies, the CBI finally today arrested sacked Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi on charges of cheating, conspiracy and corruption in connection with awarding some Games-related contracts.

According to CBI sources, Kalmadi was held for allegedly awarding illegal contracts to a Swiss firm for a Timing, Scoring & Result (TSR) system for the Games at an inflated cost of Rs 141 crore. This caused a loss of Rs 95 crore to the exchequer.

The ruling Congress, meanwhile, wasted no time in suspending the Lok Sabha MP.

Kalmadi's arrest came after CBI sleuths grilled him for over four hours at its headquarters. Just before arresting him, the probe agency also took into its custody two other OC officials, Surjeet Lal, Deputy Director General (Procurement) and ASV Prasad, Joint Director General (Sports), in the same case.

The CBI has registered a case under Section 120B (conspiracy) read with Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC and other relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The trio will be produced in a court tomorrow.

“It is alleged that Kalmadi had conspired with the representatives of Swiss Timing (Omega) and the contract for TSR system was awarded by wrongfully restricting and eliminating competition from other suppliers in a pre-meditated and planned manner,” said a CBI official. He added that the investigation has also revealed that members of the tenders evaluation committee were coerced and threatened to disqualify other bidders. According to another investigating official, a company by the name of MSL (Spain) was ready to supply the same TSR system for mere Rs 46 crore but it was disqualified on flimsy grounds as per instructions of Kalmadi.

“We have statements of officials who revealed that members of the tenders evaluation committee were coerced and threatened to disqualify other bidders. Besides, the investigation has also revealed that the Indian representatives of the supplier were in regular contact with Kalmadi, Lal and Prasad much before the tender was awarded,” he said.

Kalmadi’s close aides, OC’s Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and Director General VK Verma, are already under arrest.

Shortly after Kalmadi's arrest was announced, AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said the Congress has suspended Kalmadi.

Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP and the CPM said that Kalmadi’s arrest was "belated" and only the "tip of the iceberg". The two Opposition parties wanted investigating agencies to take stringent action against others involved in the Games scam.

"This (arrest) is only the tip of the iceberg, " BJP president Nitin Gadkari told reporters in Mumbai. "Kalmadi is not the only one. Others have not been arrested. CBI should take stringent action against those involved in the Games scam," he said. Senior CPM leader Brinda Karat said the "belated action" of Kalmadi's arrest was too little, too late. (With inputs from agencies)

CHARGES AGAINST ex-chief of Games OC

n Kalmadi is accused of awarding illegal contracts to a Swiss firm for a Timing, Scoring & Result (TSR) system for the Games at an inflated price of Rs 141 crore. Another firm was ready to supply the same equipment at Rs 46 crore. As a result, a loss of Rs 95 crore was caused to the exchequer.
n Members of the tender evaluation panel were allegedly threatened by Kalmadi to disqualify other bidders.
n Indian representatives of the supplier (Swiss Timing-Omega) were constantly in touch with Kalmadi and his men even before the tender was awarded.

Closing in on Kalmadi

Dec 24, 2010: CBI conducts raids at Kalmadi’s offices and residences in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.
Jan 24, 2011: Kalmadi is sacked as the Organising Committee chief.
Jan 5: CBI grills Kalmadi in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the conduct of the Games.
Feb 11: CBI arrests Kalmadi's personal assistant Shekhar Deorukhkar in Pune.
Feb 24: Kalmadi hits out at the authorities, says the OC cannot be singled out and blamed in the CWG scam. His aggression comes a day after his two close aides, Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma, were arrested.
March 1: CBI searches Kalmadi's two bank lockers in Pune.
March 15: Kalmadi is quizzed by the CBI again
Apr 5: The VK Shunglu panel, investigating the CWG scam, slams Kalmadi
Apr 25: CBI grills Kalmadi for over four hours and finally arrests him.





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