The Central Bureau of Investigation will soon send Letters Rogatory to the United Kingdom for questioning Ashish Patel and seeking financial details about his firms, A M Films and A M Cars, for allegedly making arrangements for the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) at exorbitant rates.
While the CBI is questioning sacked Deputy Director-General (Marketing) of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) Sanjay Mohindroo and sacked Joint Director-General of OC T.S. Darbari, their statements needed to be verified and corroborated from Mr. Patel as well, official sources said.
Mr. Patel has been named in both the cases that have been registered by the CBI in connection with the QBR, a function which was held in London and attended by President Pratibha Patil.
CBI sources said the LRs will be sent as soon as possible as the questioning of Mr. Patel was necessary for untying the knots in the case.
The first case was registered under criminal conspiracy (120-B), cheating (420), forgery (468 and 471) of the IPC and some sections of Prevention of Corruption Act against Mr. Darbari, Mr. Mohindroo and Mr. Patel owned A M Cars and Vans.
In this case, the CBI has alleged that the accused officials of Organising Committee in conspiracy with the London-based transport firm and its Director awarded work to A M Cars and Vans at exorbitant rates without following the standard tender process, the CBI said.
The work was awarded on the false premise that the firm was on the panel of Indian High Commission, London. Two e-mails were allegedly forged by the officials of Organising Committee to justify the selection of the firm, the CBI said.
The second case was registered under criminal conspiracy and cheating and various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act against Mr. Darbari and Mr. Mohindroo and Patel-owned A M Films.
It is alleged that the accused officials of the OC in conspiracy with A M Films awarded the work of installation of video screens at the venue of QBR at exorbitant rates.
The work was awarded to the London-based firm purportedly on the basis of fake quotations and without following the standard procedure, the CBI alleged.
Both Mr. Darbari and Mr. Mohindroo are at present in CBI custody after they were arrested by the agency on November 15 following searches at various places in connection with the case.
Mr. Patel is already facing a seven-year ban by the U.K. Registrar of Companies (RoC).
As per the information given by the UK RoC, Mr. Patel has been disqualified as a Director of the London-based firms from March 17, 2010 to March 16, 2017. The RoC has cited Section 7 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act, 1986 for barring him. The section particularly deals with disqualification procedures and reasons for a director of an insolvent firm.
Mr. Patel was in the news after his firms — A M Cars and Vans and A M Films — were allegedly paid £2.45 lakh for its “services” during the baton relay last year.
The ED had registered its first case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act after British authorities referred to the Indian High Commission a matter regarding A M Films, to which a huge sum of money was allegedly transferred through the Royal Bank of Scotland.