CWG probe: I-T conducts raids at 50 locations

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 00:35 AM IST

New Delhi: Investigators probing the
Commonwealth Games scam spread the dragnet with 300 Income Tax
sleuths carrying out simultaneous nationwide raids today on 50
premises of four contractors who executed some Games-related
works.

As the multi-agency investigations into alleged
financial irregularities in the conduct of the games
continued, the Central Vigilance Commission was probing a
complaint related to alleged amassing of Rs 200 crore by a top
CWG official, believed to be a close associate of Organising
Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

In reply to an RTI query filed by PTI, the CVC, which
is looking into 22 complaints of financial irregularities in
different Games-related projects, said that it is probing the
complaint against V K Gautam, former Chief Operating Officers
(COO). Gautam was not available for comments.

Official sources said the simultaneous raids in
various cities, which began early morning, were centred on
four main contractors roped in by the CWG OC for landscaping
and beautification works of the Games venues among other
works.

The sources said over 50 premises spread across Delhi,
Bangalore, Mumbai, Jamshedpur, Kolkata and National Capital
Region (NCR) were the focus of the raiding teams and that a
large number of documents including those pertaining to
contracts and sub-contracts awarded in connection with the
Games were seized.

They said the contractors, who are under the scanner
of the I-T Department, were involved in landscaping,
beautification of venues, changing of street lamps, laying
field tracks and also in the business of sports equipment and
gear.

The raids came a day after CWG OC Director General V K
Verma was grilled for 10 hours by the Enforcement Directorate
(ED) here.

The sources said the tax return details of previous
years filed by these firms were also being examined by the
department.

The action comes at a time when various other
government agencies including the Enforcement Directorate,
CBI, Central Vigilance Commission and also the Prime Minister-
appointed Special Committee are looking into various aspects
of the alleged financial irregularities.

The sources said the I-T probe will specifically look
into the contracts awarded by the OC and the role of its
officials and contractors besides charges of bribing.

The I-T department officials have seized documents to
detect possible evasion of taxes through over-invoicing and
fudging of accounts, the sources said.

The department had on October 19 carried out similar
searches on four major consortia, including those related to
BJP member Sudhanshu Mittal, which had bagged contracts worth
Rs 700 crore. Mittal is considered to be a close associate of
former BJP President Rajnath Singh and late party leader
Pramod Mahajan.

-PTI