CWG: Bhanot, Verma sent to 5-day police custody

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Suresh Kalmadi was in further trouble on Thursday as two of his CWG OC close aides Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma were sent to a five day police custody following their arrest post CBI questioning.

In continuance with the investigations into the last year’s Commonwealth Games, ex-CWG OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot was arrested along with VK Verma after CBI questioned them in connection with alleged irregularities in a Rs 107 crore contract that had been awarded to a Swiss time—keeping company on Wednesday.

The two ex-CWG officials were produced in court today, Thursday while sources said that Suresh Kalmadi himself faced arrest within a week.

Bhanot has been booked by the probe agency under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, along with Switzerland—based firm Swiss Timing Ltd and other unknown persons.

Last year, the CBI had carried out searches at 11 premises in the National Capital Region, including residences of Mr. Bhanot and another CWG official VK Verma. Premises of certain other officials including R.K. Sacheti, Joint Director General (Coordination) and Sangeeta Welingkar, member of the Games Image and Look Group were also searched.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing alleged irregularities in the hiring of Swiss firm Event Knowledge Services (EKS) as the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG)`s technical consultant, had recovered the contract`s original tender document. The document is expected to help the agency establish the alleged role of Organising Committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi and its secretary general Lalit Bhanot.

The original document, comprising several files, was missing for over three months, since the agency began its probe.

"The EKS contract, worth Rs29 crore, was awarded by the OC`s executive board at a time when its former chairman Suresh Kalmadi had headed it and Lalit Bhanot was its secretary general. We suspect the contract was concluded in violation of norms and by showing undue favours to the firm," a CBI source told reporters.

According to the agency source, the CBI is also looking into allegations that the firm was favoured because a former CW Federation official had allegedly "owned stake in EKS."

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