CWG Scam: Bhanot, Verma in 14-day judicial custody
New Delhi: Ex-CWG chief Suresh Kalmadi was dealt with another major blow as his close aides Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma were taken into a fourteen-day judicial custody following their hearing in a Delhi court.
Commonwealth Games Organising Committee's (OC) former Secretary-General Lalit Bhanot and former Director-General VK Verma, who were remanded to Central Bureau of Investigation custody, were handed out the judgement after a hearing.
They were taken into CBI custody in connection with the award of the Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system contract to Swiss Timing Pvt. Ltd. at an “exorbitant rate” of Rs.107 crore.
The CBI had arrested them late evening on 23rd Feb, 2010.
The CBI, in its remand application, said the contract was awarded “in a most wrongful manner, restricting/eliminating all competition, thereby causing wrongful loss to the Government of India and corresponding wrongful gain to Swiss Timing.”
The provisions under which the duo were charged with include Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), read with 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 13(2), read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI investigations have tightened their noose on ex-CWG chief Suresh Kalmadi and according to reports, he faces an arrest soon.
The remand application states that Bhanot and Verma were among the main functionaries and key personnel in the OC and “deeply involved and instrumental in allotment of the TSR contract to Swiss Timing in a pre-planned and pre-meditated manner at exorbitant rates.”
The investigating agency said various incriminating documents regarding their role had been collected and it needed to get names of others involved in the crime.
The main thrust of the argument of counsel for Bhanot and Verma was that they were only a part of the OC, which had several other members and that the vetting of the Swiss Timing bid for the TSR contract was done and approved by a number of technical and financial companies.
Senior advocates Ramesh Gupta and Aman Lekhi, appearing for the tainted two respectively, were critical of the First Information Report registered by the CBI on November 29, 2010, which they said did not list correctly the lengthy process that was followed to award the contract to Swiss Timing and how M/S MSL Spain, the only other bidder, lost out.