The Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games has reportedly sent a bill of Rs 8.5 crore to the Indian Olympic Association for sending 162 people to Beijing in 2008 as part of an observer program. The trip was organised by Suresh Kalmadi as OC chief.
Kalmadi and team's 2008 visit to Beijing had come in for criticism from the PM-appointed Shunglu Committee. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had also criticized the expenditure on this trip saying it was not linked to the OC's functions.
The Organising Committee has also challenged the bills raised by nine foreign firms, including Sports Management and Marketing (SMAM), Event Knowledge Service (EKS) and "Grand Big Event". In January this year, several foreign firms had written to the OC complaining about non-payment of dues. But the OC has now asked some of them to return excess payments claiming work assigned to them was only partly done.
Suresh Kalmadi is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with the CWG scam. Following his arrest in April this year by the CBI on charges of corruption, the OC has begun re-examining the actual work carried out by several Indian and foreign companies.
In a report last week, the government's auditor blamed the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for Kalmadi's appointment in a position that allowed him his alleged malpractices. Sports Minister Ajay Maken then said in a statement in the Lok Sabha that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government of 2003 was responsible for the appointment of Kalmadi. This led to a war of words between the government and the Opposition in Parliament, resulting in repeated adjournment of both Houses all through last week.