All “irregularities” in the run up to hosting the just-concluded Commonwealth Games would be examined and the guilty not spared, the government said on Tuesday.
Laying a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha on the sporting event, Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill said: “All irregularities will be examined and the guilty will not be spared.”
The recommendations of the Shunglu Committee, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) — all probing the irregularities — would be taken on board before agreeing to host similar international sporting events in the country.
Mr. Gill admitted that close to the date of commencement of the Games, there were “instances of difficulties,” including the readiness of the Games Village and the accidental collapse of the foot over-bridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. He said these were, however, overcome well in time.
He, however, pointed out that the Games had left behind a “lasting legacy” for sports, strengthened the sporting culture in the nation and “given us hope and inspiration for greater successes in the future.”
Mr. Gill said the CAG had started auditing all the Games-related projects and the expenditure of the Organising Committee. It planned to complete the exercise within three months and present a draft report by the January first week.
The government was aware that a number of concerns were raised regarding the Games, including allegations of corruption in the conduct of the Games, misappropriation of funds, mismanagement, wasteful expenditure and wrongdoings, besides delays in the completion of infrastructure and defects in construction quality.
Mr. Gill said during the monsoon session of Parliament, the government assured the House that irregularities would be enquired into and the guilty punished. The Shunglu panel, set up last month, was expected to go into the role and responsibilities of the signatories to the Host City Contract and overall implications of the obligations entered into through the contract, the planning and execution of development projects related to the Games, and contracts for service delivery with reference to time, cost and quality.
It would examine the weaknesses in management, alleged misappropriation, irregularities, wasteful expenditure and wrongdoing in the conduct of Games and recommend action. The issues relating to financing of the Games, including estimates of revenue and expenditure, coordination between various agencies involved in infrastructure development, role of consultants and advisors and the overall impact of the Games in sports development would be examined.
Importantly, the committee would establish a mechanism for hosting similar international sporting events that would lay down timeframes, a legally sustainable framework, appropriate financial management and audit.
Keywords: CWG scam