New Delhi: The Centre has extended by two months tenure of a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Defence Minister AK Antony, to examine the alleged irregularities in the conduct of last year`s Commonwealth Games, sources said.
According to the sources, the decision was taken after receiving recommendations from the GoM seeking more time to scrutinise documents, cross-check responses received from the different departments involved in alleged irregularities, and to decide the future course of action.
"There are voluminous records pertaining to the alleged wrongdoings in carrying out Games related works. The GoM wanted to peruse them properly to pinpoint responsibility and punish the guilty. A comprehensive report is likely to be submitted by the group by January-end next year," a GoM member said.
Besides Antony, the high-powered panel has Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma as members. Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy is a special invitee.
The GoM was made to examine Shunglu Committee reports on the alleged financial and managerial lapses by different government departments in implementing several projects in the run up to the mega sporting event held here between October 03 and 14 last year.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on August 02 this year constituted a ministerial panel to examine the findings of the High Level Committee under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General VK Shunglu, and asked it to submit its report within three months.The High Level Committee (HLC) has submitted a total of six reports -- on host broadcasting, Commonwealth Games Village, city infrastructure, games venues, Organising
Committee and Organisation and Conduct of Commonwealth Games
2010 -- to the PMO.
"The group has made considerable progress in its work. But there are still many things left to consider before coming up with its report," the sources said.
Former CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and sacked Secretary General Lalit Bhanot among others were arrested by the CBI earlier this year, and they are currently lodged in Tihar Jail for their alleged involvement in corrupt practices in implementing Games-related works.
Besides CBI, other agencies like Central Vigilance Commission, Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate are also investigating alleged irregularities.
In a recent RTI reply, CVC had said that it was looking for alleged irregularities in the execution of 71 Commonwealth Games-related projects worth several crores by government, civic and construction agencies.