CWG scam: Bhanot, Verma`s judicial custody extended

Updated: May 05, 2011, 18:53 PM IST

New Delhi: A trial court Thursday extended till May 18 the judicial custody of former Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC) officials Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma, who were arrested for alleged irregularities in awarding a contract to a Swiss firm for the mega sporting event last year.

Special Judge Dharmesh Sharma sent the OC`s former secretary general Bhanot and its ex-director general Verma to Tihar Jail.

"The accused are charged with serious offences and the investigation is still ongoing in the case. Their custody may be extended till May 18," the court said.

The two were brought to the court after their judicial custody expired Thursday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel told the court that the offence against them was serious in nature and the investigation in the case was ongoing.

The duo was arrested by the CBI Feb 23 for alleged irregularities in awarding a Rs.107 crore contract to Switzerland-based firm Swiss Timing Ltd in procuring the Timing, Scoring and Result (TSR) system for the Commonwealth Games.

The CBI had registered a case against the two under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, along with Swiss Timing and other persons.

Later, after former OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi and two other officials were arrested April 25, the probe agency slapped three more charges of fraud, forgery and cheating on all the accused.

With the new sections invoked, the CBI can now file its chargesheet within 90 days, against the earlier timeframe of 60 days.

Earlier, the CBI told the court that the two were among key people in the OC and were instrumental in the allotment of the contract to Swiss Timing in a "pre-planned and pre-mediated manner" at an exorbitant rate of Rs.107 crore, thereby causing a huge loss to the government.