The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed serious concern over rampant corruption in the preparation for the Commonwealth Games, and said it could not shut its eyes when the expenditure involved was to the tune of Rs. 70,000 crore.

Justice G.S. Singhvi, heading a Bench, observed: “In this country payments are made without work being done.” Referring to the foot over-bridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium that collapsed recently, the Judge said: “When the new bridge collapsed, it collapsed like a pack of cards. There is rampant corruption. We can't shut our eyes to this when Rs.70,000 crore is involved.”

In a lighter vein, he said that “till October 15, ‘common wealth' is a public purpose, and thereafter it will be private purpose.”

The Bench, which included Justice A.K. Ganguly, was hearing an appeal filed by the Archaeological Survey of India against a Delhi High Court order relating to regularisation of a building constructed near the protected monument Jantar Mantar on Parliament Street here and close to the multi-storey building constructed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

When counsel for the respondent pointed out that even the NDMC building was within 100 metres of Jantar Mantar and it had been constructed in violation of law, Additional Solicitor-General Harin Raval, appearing for the NDMC, tried to convince the court saying that the construction was made prior to the notification banning such constructions.

He said the NDMC could produce receipts and payments made to workers. It was at this juncture that Justice Singhvi made these observations on rampant corruption in Games.