CWG: Terms of Reference out for PM’s probe

The Prime Minister-appointed Shunglu Committee will probe the "weaknesses" in management, alleged misappropriation, irregularities and wrongdoing in the conduct of Commonwealth Games

New Delhi: The Prime Minister-appointed Shunglu Committee will probe the "weaknesses" in management, alleged misappropriation, irregularities and wrongdoing in the conduct of Commonwealth Games among other things under a comprehensive 10-point Terms of Reference announced Monday.

The announcement of the Terms of Reference(TOR) came even as Prasar Bharti rejected allegations of impropriety and defended the award of the Broadcasting rights contract for Commonwealth Games to UK-based SIS Live and said the selection of the company was made with the approval of I and B Minister Ambika Soni.

Unveiling the mandate for the two-member high-level committee, the Prime Minister`s Office(PMO) also said the CAG, CVC and other agencies will independently carry out their audit and investigations in accordance with their respective mandates on the Games and take action immediately on complaints.

The Committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG) V K Shunglu will have as its second member Shantanu Consul, Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, upon his retirement on October 31. Consul`s name was annpounced today. The panel has been asked to give its report within three months.

A PMO statement said the Committee will recommend action on any matter that comes to its notice involving alleged misappropriation and other wrongful conduct and the agencies concerned will take "immediate action" as warranted under law. The Committee will also look into "wasteful expenditure".

The Committee will also consider any complaint from any member of the public, duly supported by documents.

"The aim of the Committee is to reach logical conclusion," Shunglu told PTI shortly after the Terms of Reference were announced.

Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli told reporters that due payment of service tax, which has become an issue, is the "legal responsibility" of the British firm SIS Live.

Rubbishing allegations of impropriety while finalising the contract or making payments to the company, Lalli said whatever payment has been made till date is according to schedule which has been approved at the highest level—that is the Information and Broadcasting Minister.

"The selection of the entity was made with the approval of the competent authority-- the Honourable Minister for Information and Broadcasting," he said at a joint press conference with Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma.

Lalli said that the contract amount had been finalised at approximately Rs 253 crore by the government in 2008. "Based on the cost escalation and other factors I am happy to say that the final contract of Rs 246 crore made with SIS Live was well within limits".

On another front relating to the Commonwealth Games probe, the Delhi High Court allowed the DDA to encash Rs 90 crore, which was deposited by Emaar MGF, the builder of Commonwealth Games(CWG) village, as bank guarantee, for not completing the project on time in a set back to the real estate giant.

In an interim order, Justice Vipin Sanghi said that "the pay order for Rs 90 crore may be encashed (by the DDA)."

The Court passed the order on a petition filed by the company seeking to restrain DDA from seizing the bank guarantees of Rs 183 crore as damages for not completing the project on time.

The court, however, said that the rest of the amount of Rs 93 crore, shall not be encashed if it has not been encashed so far.


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