In the wake of a spate of corruption allegations, the Organising Committee (OC) of the Commonwealth Games on Thursday suspended Joint Director-General T. S. Darbari, Deputy Director- General Sanjay Mahindroo, and Joint Director-General (Finance and Account) M. Jayachandran for their “dubious” role in payment for services rendered during the Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) in London.
The suspension of three officials followed the resignation by Committee treasurer Anil Khanna. He quit for “personal reasons,” even as allegations were made that his son's (Aditya) firm had bagged a contract for laying synthetic courts in the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association Complex.
Mattoo treasurer again
The Committee has appointed A.K. Mattoo as the treasurer. Incidentally, he had resigned as treasurer on January 17 during the hockey crisis.
Making the announcement, Committee Secretary-General Lalit Bhanot, who is also its official spokesman, said: “We requested him [Mr. Mattoo] to take over the responsibility, because he understands the working of the federations very well.”
The Committee formed a three-member panel to probe charges of money being paid to AM Films without the tender process. This panel, comprising Committee Chief Executive Officer Jarnail Singh, Special Director (General Finance) G.C. Chaturvedi and Chief Vigilance Officer Gurjyot Kaur recommended the suspension of Mr. Darbari and Mr. Mahindroo.
The Organising Committee, Mr. Bhanot said, also decided to “terminate” its contract with the Australian company Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM). The decision was taken essentially for “non-performance [promise of generating sponsorship worth $122 million until June 30].”
Mr. Bhanot confirmed that the issue of overlays was referred to the Cabinet Secretary.
On the suspension of Mr. Darbari and Mr. Mahindroo, he said: “The responsibility for the delivery and conduct of the QBR rested with them. Mr. Jayachandran also needed to be punished for his role. The case has been referred to the Enforcement Directorate because there is need for a thorough investigation.”
Mr. Bhanot said: “All involved will be punished. I assure you not a rupee has been paid to the SMAM. It is not a failure of the system and we are ready to host one of the best ever Games [from October 3 to 14].”
Asked why Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi had not owned up moral responsibility, he said: “It is difficult to own up responsibility for every person working in the committee.”