The CBI on Monday opposed the bail plea of the former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, and told a special court here that his conduct had “tarnished the image of the country.”
Mr. Kalmadi is in the Tihar Central Jail for alleged criminal conspiracy to award the Games Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system contract to a Swiss company which reportedly caused financial loss to the Indian government.
Senior Public Prosecutor V. K. Sharma, appearing for the CBI, told Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh: “We are opposing the bail plea, considering the nature and seriousness of the offence. His [Mr. Kalmadi's] co-accused in the case [former OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and Director-General V. K. Verma] were not granted bail by this court. Investigation is still going on. Mr. Kalmadi's conduct has tarnished the image of the country and the Organising Committee of which he was the chairman.”
Document in Kalmadi's handwriting
Mr. Kalmadi, former OC Joint Director-General (Sports) A. S. V. Prasad and Deputy Director-General (Procurement) Surjit Lal were arrested by the CBI on April 25. Mr. Sharma also submitted before the judge an unspecified document which purportedly had Mr. Kalmadi's handwriting saying: “Kindly see this document and its nature; and I will leave it to the court to decide on all aspects of the case.”
Besides this, the CBI prosecutor also submitted the statement of a witness, and the transcript of a speech made by Mr. Kalmadi to the Commonwealth Games Federation in October 2009. Mr. Sharma said the Request for Proposals (RFP) on the TSR system contract was uploaded on October 1, 2009, and the last date for bids was November 4, 2009, but Mr. Kalmadi told delegates at the assembly that the Swiss firm would provide the TSR solutions at the Games.
Mr. Kalmadi's counsel, U. U. Lalit, countered this saying it was a general statement merely intended to convey the message that only firms with top-notch expertise would undertake Games-related projects.
The CBI also alleged that as part of the conspiracy, manipulation was done in the minutes of the meetings of the OC Finance Committee which deliberated the RFP for the TSR contract. “The factual minutes were changed and recorded in a convenient manner that did not actually reflect the true discussion as held during the meetings,” the investigating agency said.
The order on the bail plea has been reserved for May 21.