CWG scam: Suresh Kalmadi gets bail, could leave Tihar Jail today

New Delhi: Suresh Kalmadi has been granted bail by the Delhi High Court. He was arrested in April last year for alleged corruption - as chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Commonwealth Games, Mr Kalmadi allegedly  sanctioned an inflated contract for timing equipment and scoreboards.

The High Court has also granted bail to former Organising Committee Director General V K Verma.

The Commonwealth Games were seeped in controversy. They were internationally reported for poor organization; within the country, the event made headlines for apparently ubiquitous graft. Several of Mr Kalmadi's key aides were arrested after the Games were held in September 2010.  

Mr Kalmadi, a Congress MP, has been in Tihar Jail for 10 months. He has been asked to pay a surety of five lakhs. (Read: Top 10 facts about Kalmadi's Commonwealth Games scandal)

Mr Kalmadi, Mr Verma and nine others have been accused of allegedly awarding a Rs 141-crore contract to Swiss firm to install timing equipment for the Games at an exorbitant rate, causing a loss of over Rs.90 crore to the state exchequer.

The charges against Mr Kalmadi include conspiracy, forgery, misconduct and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In his bail plea, Mr Kalmadi had cited the Supreme Court's judgement in the 2G spectrum case and said that it has been held that "bail is rule and jail is exception". The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the charges of corruption in the organisation of the Games, had opposed the plea, saying trial was about to begin.

Others who were arrested in the case included Lalit Bhanot, who served as the Secretary General of the CWG Organising Committee.

Allegations of corruption began surfacing a few weeks before the Games began. The organisers led by Mr Kalmadi were accused of handing out inflated contracts for equipment and services amid growing criticism over delays in preparing the venues and the manner in which the Games budget had been overshot.