CWG scam: Kalmadi denied bail

Suresh Kalmadi

NEW DELHI: Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, arrested for his alleged role in awarding a Games contract to a Swiss firm at an exorbitant rate, was today denied bail by a Delhi court.

Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh dismissed Kalmadi’s bail plea along with that of Games organising panel’s Joint Director-General (Sports) A S V Prasad, saying that “the offences are of serious nature.”

The court also that they might try to influence witnesses, if enlarged on bail at this juncture.

The court also said that “Prasad was close to Kalmadi” and had a key role in awarding the contract which caused huge loss to the exchequer.

Kalmadi was arrested along with OC Joint Director General (Sport) A S V Prasad and three others on April 25 for awarding the contract for installing the Time-Scoring-Result (TSR) system to a Swiss firm, Swiss Times Omega, at an exorbitant cost of Rs 141 crore, causing a loss of over Rs 95 crore to the public exchequer.

The CBI prosecutor had opposed Kalmadi’s bail plea, saying his “conduct (in resorting to corruption in holding the 2010 mega sporting event) has tarnished the image of the country.”

The agency had argued that Kalmadi, as the head of the OC, had “supreme and overriding powers” and “any official of OC, who dared to protest against the illegal activities of Kalmadi and his associates, was threatened, harassed and removed from their position or were forced to leave.”

The CBI had said that Kalmadi and his team had declared the Swiss firm eligible for installing the Times Scoring Result, even while the tendering process was still on and there was ample time for various possible bidders for submitting bids for it.

But Kalmadi and his team closed the bidding process abruptly even before submission of a single bid for it after arbitrarily choosing the Swiss firm for the job.

“The accused persons had become so brazen and bold with no care and fear of the rules, regulations and the laws that they openly declared that TSR will be provided by Swiss Timing even when the tender was on and not a single bid had been received,” the CBI said in its reply.

Pressing for Kalmadi’s bail, senior advocate U U Lalit had said his client had extended his support at all stages of investigation to CBI.

“From lodging of the FIR till my arrest, at every level, I (Kalmadi) have extended my support. I even went to the extent that I did not file an anticipatory bail,” he had pleaded. -PTI

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