New Delhi: Suresh Kalmadi, the president of the Indian Olympic Association, once claimed to have signed an agreement with Formula One, to bring the sport into India and promote it in the country.
Months later after the announcement, it has been revealed that Kalmadi’s son, Sumeer Kalmadi is part owner of the company that signed the contract with the F1 organisers. A year later, his daughter and her husband joined the group as the directors, a newspaper reported on Saturday.
In June 2007, Kalmadi signed an agreement with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone which claimed that the IOA will help promote the sport in the nation by building infrastructure for the mega-event in India in 2010 by eliciting “support from Central and state governments to construct the circuit”.
Three months later in October, the F1 Administration Limited signed a Rs 1,600-crore contract with JPSK Sports Private Limited to build the necessary infrastructure.
According to the report, JPSK is owned by multiple stake holders. Majority of the stakes are held by Jaiprakash Associates (74%); the rest are owned by Sulba Realty Private Limited (13%), a Pune-based organisation which has Sumeer Kalmadi as its director, and Trackwork International Pvt Ltd, a Delhi-based firm (13%).
According to the pact signed between the three companies, JPSK acquired 2,500 acres for the 2010 project.
The land has been divided into four parts. First part comprises 1,000 acres which will be used to build the circuit for the race; the rest of the ‘balance land’ will be divided in a ratio 80%-10%-10% between Jaiprakash Associates, Sulba and Trackwork to be developed by them.
Reports from the Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Commerce, claim that a year after the pact, Suresh Kalmadi’s daughter Payal Bhartia and son-in-law Aditya Bhartia joined as independent directors of JPSK.
While Sumeer Kalmadi was unavailable for comments, Kalmadi told the newspaper, “The IOA is not involved now since we could not arrange funds for the event. As for the involvement of my family members in the new company formed, I will explain everything on my return (he’s on an overseas tour).”
IOA secretary general Randhir Singh said that the IOA did receive some complaints regarding the issue. “These are being verified. When the announcement was made, all top IOA officials were present. Now we are not sure where things stand.”
Manoj Gaur, executive chairman, Jaypee Group said: “It was Sunder Mulchandani (of Trackwork) who introduced us to F1’s Bernie Ecclestone. He was also the one who asked us to involve the third partner (Sumeer Kalmadi). The project is a prestigious one and we have already invested Rs 700 crore of the estimated Rs 1600 crore. The 2,500 acres is eventually going to cost us about Rs 1 crore each acre.”
According to Gaur, JPSK has invested in payment for land and annual instalments of USD 40 million over a 10-year period. “All rights, including advertising and TV rights, remain with the foreign promoters of the event. We will only earn from ticket sales but we will have created a sporting infrastructure for the country which no other private company has done.”
Gaur added that since the Greater Noida land was acquired in September 2008 (land was allotted as a SEZ project by the Uttar Pradesh government), the 2007 agreement is ‘technically’ annulled.
However, the April 2009 records of the Registrar of Companies as of April 2009 still claim Sumeer Kalmadi and Mulchandani as shareholders.
Mulchandani stated that the original deal signed remains unchanged: “Everything is on course for the race to be held in 2011. We are expecting Bernie Ecclestone to visit India sometime later this year.”