File photo: Suresh Kalmadi
A Delhi court today pressed charges of corruption, theft and conspiracy against former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi and 10 others in a corruption case linked to 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Besides Mr Kalmadi, former CWG OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and nine others have been chargesheeted by the CBI for allegedly "illegally" awarding a contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results system for the 2010 CWG to Swiss Timing, at an exorbitant cost allegedly causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the state exchequer.
They have been charge-sheeted under various provisions of the Indian Penal Court, including those of criminal conspiracy under Section 120(B), cheating (Section 420), forgery (Section 468 & 471) of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI had alleged that Mr Kalmadi and others had rejected Spanish firm MSL's much lower bid of Rs. 62 crore and awarded the contract to Swiss Timing Omega, causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer.
Besides Mr Kalmadi and Mr Bhanot, the other nine accused in the case are OC's Director General VK Verma, Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, Joint Director General (Sports) ASV Prasad and Treasurer M Jayachandran, all former. They are no more associated with the sporting body.
Promoters of two construction companies - PD Arya and AK Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and AK Reddy and his firm AKR Constructions are also accused in the case.
Besides the two firms, Swiss Timing Omega, the Swiss firm which was awarded the contract allegedly at exorbitant rates, is also accused in the case.
During the arguments on charges, Mr Kalmadi's counsel had argued that the facts given in CBI's charge sheet were contrary to the documents submitted by the agency to the court.
Mr Kalmadi had told the court that he was only doing the work assigned to him as the OC chairman and nothing wrong was done by him in the entire process.
During the arguments, CBI prosecutor VK Sharma had told the court that Mr Kalmadi and others had decided to award the contract for installing the TSR system for the CWG to Swiss Timing even before the firm had bid for it.
The prosecutor had also argued that two bids were received for TSR contract from Swiss Timing and MSL Spain and the same were opened on November 4, 2009 but Mr Kalmadi and Verma had on already announced in a meeting on October 12, 2009 that the contract would be awarded to Swiss Timing.
He had also said Mr Kalmadi had made up his mind in advance to award the contract to the Swiss firm.