A Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI court has framed charges against Suresh Kalmadi and nine others today for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer in a Commonwealth Games or CWG-related corruption case.
The court has also ordered fast-tracking of the case and hearings will be held four times a week. The next hearing will be on February 7. All accused appeared in court today.
Mr Kalmadi was the chairman of the organising committee for the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi in October 2010, and was sacked in April 2011 after allegations of corruption were made against him. (Who is Suresh Kalmadi?)
The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Mr Kalmadi and the others, accusing them of "illegally" awarding a contract to install the timing, scoring and results (TSR) system for the 2010 games to a firm named Swiss Timing at inflated rates.
The district court had said on December 21 last year that charges would be framed under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act against the 10 accused. Besides cheating and conspiracy, the accused will also be charged with forgery and criminal misconduct by public servants.
Mr Kalmadi was arrested on April 25, 2011. He spent nine months in Delhi's Tihar Jail and was released after the Delhi High Court granted him bail on January 19 2012.
After his release, Mr Kalmadi returned to his hometown and political stronghold, Pune, and began attempts to rehabilitate himself in public life. He was first seen flagging off a train to Ahmedabad at the Pune railway station and soon after, in February 2012, he attended a meeting of Parliament's Defence Consultative Committee in the national capital with top politicians.Investigations and charges:
As various reports of corruption related to the Commonwealth Games surfaced, the Central Vigilance Commissioner directed the CBI to probe the matter. The CBI began a full-fledged investigation and some of Mr Kalmadi's closest aides were arrested. They included Lalit Bhanot, who served as the Secretary General of the Organising Committee and VK Verma who was its Director General.
The CBI questioned Mr Kalmadi three times and raided his homes and offices in Delhi and Pune to gather evidence that he had functioned as the Chairman of the Badmaash Company that had run the Games. He was arrested after a fourth round of interrogation.
Mr Kalmadi was also indicted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which accused him of violating foreign exchange laws while making payments to a London-based firm that he hired for the Queen's Baton Relay. The event, held in September 2009 in London, kick-started the Commonwealth Games.