A Delhi court on Monday framed charges against sacked Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and nine others for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer in a Games-related corruption case.
Special CBI Judge Ravinder Kaur framed charges under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act against Kalmadi and other accused, including Organising Committee (OC) secretary-general Lalit Bhanot, in the case.
Besides cheating and criminal conspiracy, the accused have also been charged with offences relating to forgery and use of forged documents as genuine, criminal intimidation, destruction of evidence of the IPC and Section 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servants) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
After framing of charges, the court fixed February 20 for recording of evidence in the case.
The judge said that the evidence will be recorded on a day-to-day basis barring Monday and Friday.
The accused were chargesheeted by the CBI for illegally awarding a contract to install timing, scoring and results (TSR) system for the 2010 CWG to Swiss Timing at inflated rates causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer.
Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, among the other accused in the case are OC’s former director-general V.K. Verma, former director-general (procurement) Surjit Lal, former joint director-general (sports) A.S.V. Prasad and former treasurer M. Jayachandran.
Apart from the six, promoters of two construction firms — P.D. Arya and A.K. Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and A.K. Reddy of Hyderabad-based AKR Constructions are also accused in the case. Swiss Timing Omega is also an accused in the case.
The court, while ordering framing of charges against the accused, had said that as Swiss Timing Omega, which was allegedly awarded the contract at exorbitant rates, is not appearing in the court despite proper service of summons, its “trial is separated.”
The court had also said that substantial charges of misusing official position have been made out against the six former OC officials, who were public servants.
The CBI had alleged that Kalmadi and others had rejected Spanish firm MSL’s much lower bid of Rs. 62 crore and awarded the contract to Swiss Timing Omega, causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer.
CBI counsel V.K. Sharma had argued that Kalmadi and others had decided to award the contract for installing the TSR system for the CWG to Swiss Timing even before the firm had bid for it.
Kalmadi’s counsel, however, had argued that the facts given in the CBI’s chargesheet were contrary to the documents, which the agency had filed in the court.
Kalmadi had told the court that he was only doing the work assigned to him as the OC chairman and nothing wrong was done by him in the entire process.