CBI raids CWG officials’ homes, three booked (Third Lead)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday searched the offices and homes of three Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) officials and filed cases against Lalit Bhanot and V.K. Verma and a Swiss company for alleged financial lapses.

While Bhanot is the OC secretary general, Verma is the OC director general. A case has been filed against them for cheating and misuse of posts, a source said. Both are considered very close to OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

Raids were also conducted at the Green Park Extension residence of R.K. Sacheti, joint director general (Coordination) of the OC.

“After registration of a case, searches were conducted at 11 places in Delhi including the office and residential premises of accused persons and their associates. During searches voluminous incriminating documents have been recovered,” deputy inspector general of police Anurag told reporters.

He also said the accused officers abused their official position and entered into a deal with a Switzerland-based company and other unknown persons.

They awarded the contract to the company for hiring timing, scoring and results system at an exorbitant rate of Rs.107 crore, causing a huge loss to the government. The Time Scoring Board was used in the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.

The OC officials whose premises were searched said they would extend support to investigations.

“The CBI team came in the morning and they wanted to search the house. They were very nice and professional. They did their job and whatever they wanted to see we showed them. We were transparent,” said Bhanot.

“Whatever the decision (related to the Games), it has been jointly taken by the board, which includes government members as well as other members from various federations and the Olympic association. Investigation is going on and whatever help they are asking we will extend,” Bhanot added.

Verma said that there was complete transparency in the work done by the OC.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) last month questioned Verma for his alleged role in the financial irregularities in the Queen’s Baton Relay in London in 2009.

Three other aides of Kalmadi — T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mohindroo and M. Jayachandran — are already in custody for their alleged involvement in the Queen’s Baton Relay scam.

The OC is understood to have paid AM Films - a sister concern of AM Car - over 450,000 pounds for services during the Queen’s Baton Relay function in London in October 2009 without following proper tendering procedures and paper work.

Kalmadi Monday claimed he had not committed any offence and was ready to answer all the CBI’s questions.

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