CBI to approach Sports Ministry for removal of Kalmadi, Bhanot

CBI will approach Sports Ministry to seek removal of Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot from their posts.

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010, 00:31 AM IST

New Delhi: CBI will approach Sports Ministry to seek removal of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi and Secretary General Lalit Bhanot from their posts which the agency said were stumbling blocks in its probe into allegations of corruption in mega sporting event.

Highly placed sources in CBI said the move came after Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar conveyed to it that since the Organising Committee is no more a part of his secretariat he cannot remove Kalmadi and Bhanot.

The investigating agency had recently written a letter to the Cabinet Secretary suggesting that Kalmadi and Bhanot should be moved out at the earliest for smooth progress of the probe, they said.

The CBI move came after its Director A P Singh was informed by investigating officers that OC officials were not forthcoming in sharing information with them because their bosses (Kalmadi and Bhanot) were still at the helm of affairs.

Sources said a request is likely to be sent to the Sports Ministry in this regard.

Concerned over delay and allegations of corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked the Cabinet Secretary to look after the progress of different projects being carried out by civic and construction agencies in the national capital.

The CBI has filed three FIRs in connection with alleged irregularities in CWG and searched the residences of Bhanot and OC Director General V K Verma on November 30.

Bhanot and Verma have been named in a case relating to purchase and contracting of timer equipment used for the Games.

Earlier, CBI had filed two FIRs for the contracting of AM Films and cars/vans for the Baton Relay ceremonies by the OC in London. It has arrested Joint Director General T S Darbari and Deputy Director General Sanjay Mohindroo for their alleged complicity in these deals.

The Central Vigilance Commission is also probing several financial irregularities in the conduct of the mega sporting event in October this year.

PTI