The sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, and two other former OC officials were on Wednesday sent to the Tihar Central Jail on 14-day judicial custody. They were allegedly involved in a criminal conspiracy to award the Games Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system contract to a Swiss company.
In the remand application before Special Judge (CBI) Dharmesh Sharma, the Central Bureau of Investigation said the probe was at a crucial stage. Some important witnesses were yet to be examined. The role of Suresh Kalmadi; the former OC Joint Director-General (Sports), A. S. V. Prasad; and the former Deputy Director-General (Procurement), Surjit Lal, was of a “serious nature” and the accused must be sent to judicial custody in the interest of “effective and proper investigation.”
On April 26, the court gave the CBI eight days' custody of the three. Mr. Kalmadi's counsel alleged that the CBI infringed his fundamental right by arresting him on April 25 and then keeping him in custody for longer than 24 hours before producing him in court on April 26. Counsel referred to TV channels telecasting details of Mr. Kalmadi's arrest hours before 4.30 p.m., the time of arrest recorded in the case diary.
“He was called on the pretext of investigation and arrested. He was asked no questions that day. This is a question of fundamental rights being violated,” counsel said.
CBI rebuts charge
Rebutting the charge, the CBI said Mr. Kalmadi was questioned at length. “We have produced a CD of the interrogation. He was questioned by the investigating officer and other supervising officers. We are not concerned about the reportage by the media. Two witnesses have signed the arrest memo which mentions the time of arrest as 4.30 p.m.,” said CBI public prosecutor V. K. Sharma.
The agency submitted to the judge a seven-page transcript of questions and answers.
The suspended Congress leader and the other two former OC officials are being held for offences punishable under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code. They have also been booked under Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In its remand application, the CBI said the accused, in conspiracy with others, abused their official position, and “awarded the contract at an exorbitant rate, approximately Rs.107 crore, in a most wrongful manner, restricting and eliminating all competition, and thereby causing a wrongful loss to the government of India and corresponding wrongful gain to Swiss Timing.”