Bail pleas rejected, custody extended by 14 days

A court here on Saturday sent Suresh Kalmadi's close aide Shekhar M. Deorukhkar and overlays supplier Binu Nanu to Tihar Central Jail for 14 more days in connection with alleged payment of bribes for securing overlays contracts for the Commonwealth Games.

On Friday, Special Judge (CBI) O.P. Saini dismissed the bail application moved by Mr. Deorukhkar saying there was “evidence” on record against him. In his order, Mr. Saini noted that a witness (unnamed) was on record saying that Mr. Nanu had asked him (the witness) to pay Rs.10 lakh in cash to Mr. Deorukhkar. The witness also stated that Mr. Nanu had asked him to pay bribes to other persons also.

“The allegations in the case are that Binu Nanu and others paid bribe to Organising Committee [OC] officials for facilitating award of work for overlays. The witness has identified the accused….,” the order said.

CBI Senior Public Prosecutor Akhilesh opposed the bail plea saying that Mr. Deorukhkar was very much a part of the conspiracy to obtain bribes and that he was an influential person as Officer on Special Duty to the former OC Chairman, Suresh Kalmadi. The CBI said his influence was “clear from the fact that no one came forward to complain against the accused in their illegal deeds of extorting bribes from suppliers.”

The CBI submitted in court that OC Director-General V.K. Verma entered into a criminal conspiracy with Mr. Nanu and others to cause undue benefits to four overlays suppliers. The CBI faulted the accused persons with not conducting global tendering and providing enough publicity for tendering.

“Against the norms of general finance rules for inviting global tenders, the tender notice was not publicised in the Indian Trade Journal and was not sent to Indian embassies or foreign embassies in India to tap potential bidders. The tender notices were not endorsed to specialised firms,” the order said, taking note of the CBI's submissions.

The CBI said that to further restrict participation, “highly restrictive conditions” were included in the expression of interest (EOI) which resulted in only 10 firms participating in the tender. The bids were opened on January 6, 2010. Of the 10 bidders, six were recommended by the EOI Valuation Committee on January 14.

The investigating agency added that on January 15, Mr. Verma in furtherance of criminal conspiracy “arbitrarily selected only four bidders” for issuance of request for proposals after rejecting bids of remaining two companies for shortcomings which were present in the bids of all six firms.

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