Special judge fixes May 23 for taking cognisance
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed its first charge sheet in a Delhi court against sacked Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, alleging that he was the “main accused'' in a corruption case pertaining to irregularities in awarding a games-related contract to a Swiss firm.
The CBI has charged Mr. Kalmadi as being the key person who had all the powers to take decisions regarding award of contracts. “Kalmadi is the main accused as he was the person with all supreme powers. He had the supreme over-riding powers in the Organising Committee of the CWG, 2010,'' the charge sheet said.
Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh took the charge sheet into record and fixed May 23 for taking cognisance.
Besides Mr. Kalmadi, the CBI has named two companies and eight persons including OC former Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and former Director General V.K. Verma as accused and sought their prosecution under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (Sections 120 B read with Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC) dealing with criminal conspiracy, forging documents and using fake documents as genuine. The charge sheet also slapped Section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against the accused persons.
According to the charge sheet, the accused allegedly awarded the lucrative contract to the Swiss firm to install a Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system for the Commonwealth Games at an exorbitant cost, causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer. The charge sheet has named two partners of Faridabad-based private firm, CMD of Hyderabad-based private construction company and Switzerland-based private company, CBI spokesperson Dharrini Mishra said here on Friday.
The CBI had registered a case on November 29 last year on the allegations that officials of the Organising Committee of CWG and private persons had entered into a conspiracy, in pursuance of which the public servants had abused their official positions in order to manipulate the award of tender for Timing, Scoring and Result System for the Commonwealth Games to Switzerland-based company at an exorbitant cost, in order to cause undue pecuniary advantage to the company and its representatives and wrongful loss to the Government.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the then officials of the OC had conspired with private persons and indulged in a series of forgeries, manipulations and machinations with an objective to award the TSR contract to Switzerland-based company at an exorbitant net cost of approximately Rs. 157.62 crore (inclusive of taxes) as compared to a net bid of Spain-based company for approx Rs. 62.01 crore (inclusive of taxes and sponsorships). Thus a wrongful loss of about Rs. 95.60 crore was caused to the OC and a corresponding gain to Swiss-based company and its representatives by wilfully eliminating all competitors of Swiss-based company.
Investigation has further revealed that the representatives of the Swiss company and the two partners of the Faridabad-based firm actively conspired with the accused officials for getting the contract awarded to the Swiss company and received a payment of about Rs. 23.21 crores from the Swiss firm for certain perfunctory services.