A special CBI court on Friday passed its order on charges indicting Suresh Kalmadi, Lalit Bhanot and nine more people, with criminal conspiracy to commit cheating, forgery and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code, and criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in awarding of the Commonwealth Games Timing, Scoring and Results System contract to a Swiss company, which the CBI had alleged caused a loss to the government exchequer.
The formal framing of charges will take place on January 10, after which the trial in the case will commence. The CBI had filed its charge sheet in the case on May 24, 2011, in which it pegged the “wrongful loss” at approximately Rs. 95 crore.
The CBI charge sheet had made several references to forgeries, and misuse of official position by failing to follow due procedures, and attempts at eliminating all competition, as a result of the conspiracy which allegedly resulted in the contract going to Swiss Timing, which cost the Government a total outgo of approximately Rs. 157 crore, though another bid was offered from MSL Spain, which would have cost the Organising Committee only approximately Rs. 62 crore.
Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh said that prima facie a case of criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act was made out against six public servants — Mr. Kalmadi, Mr. Bhanot, V. K. Verma, A. S. V. Prasad, Surjit Lal and M. Jeyachandran — all of whom occupied top positions in the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
The court also separately charged Mr. Verma with forgery, destruction of evidence, and criminal intimidation and Mr. Bhanot, Mr. Prasad, Mr. Lal and Mr. Jeyachandran with forgery. The charge of cheating has been slapped separately on Purushottam Dev Arya and Anil Kumar Madan, partners in Gem International, which was an authorised representative of Swiss Timing, and A. K. Reddy and his firm AKR Constructions, with whom Gem International entered into a MoU for laying of cables for the Timing, Scoring and Results System contract.
The trial against the Swiss Timing company has been separated, as it is yet to appear in court despite repeated service of summons.