Fast-track trial for corruption for Suresh Kalmadi, face of Commonwealth Games

New Delhi:  Suresh Kalmadi, the face of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, will be tried for corruption and misusing his public office. Nine others have also been charged in the games-related corruption case. The trial commences on the 20th of this month.
Here is your 10-point cheat sheet to this story:
  • A court in Delhi has cleared a fast-track trial for Suresh Kalmadi, the man who was in charge of organising the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October 2010.
  • Mr Kalmadi was chairman of the Commonwealth Games Committee (CWC). He has been accused of corruption, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy along with nine others. The accused are examining the charges and may approach the High court to contest them. They have a 90-day window to do so.
  • The Commonwealth Games were suffused with allegations of financial malpractices.  The last few weeks before the sports event were overshadowed both with poor preparations and a series of reports that suggested Mr Kalmadi and his aides had granted contracts to firms that asked for exorbitant rates for services and equipment provided.  
  • Charges against Mr Kalmadi were framed today in a court in Delhi.  Hearings will be held four times a week.The next hearing will be on February 7, when the prosecution will present a list of witnesses and the time schedule when they can come for recording statements.
  • If convicted of both corruption and criminal conspiracy charges, Mr Kalmadi could face up to life term in prison. He was arrested in April 2011 and granted bail in January 2012.
  • He has been investigated by the CBI for sanctioning a deal that allegedly cost the country Rs. 90 crore.  A Swiss firm that was hired to keep scores and timing during different events allegedly got a sweetheart deal.
  • His lawyers had argued that Mr Kalmadi was not aware of the details of the deal.
  • The CBI says there's proof that Mr Kalmadi and other senior members of the organising committee were involved with sanctioning the controversial deal.
  • He was fired as the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Committee in January 2011.
  • Mr Kalmadi is a member of the Lok Sabha from Pune in Maharashtra.  After his arrest, he was suspended by his party, the Congress.

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