CWG scam: Defiant Kalmadi says ready to face any probe

Pune: Former Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC) Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, who is under fire for alleged financial mismanagement in the conduct of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, asserting that he had not done anything wrong on Saturday said he is ready to face any investigation.

“I am ready to face any investigation. I have not done anything wrong and I am not running from anybody. The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) went through everything in my house, but could find nothing,” said Kalmadi.

A team from the Central Bureau of Investigation raided two bank lockers of Kalmadi in Pune on Tuesday as part of the agency’s ongoing probe into the alleged financial irregularities in the 2010 games contracts.

The team from Delhi searched the lockers in several Pune banks. The CBI sealed the lockers in December last year.

The CBI had visited branches of the ICICI and Saraswat banks in Karvenagar in December 2010, when officials raided Kalmadi’s homes and offices in Pune and Delhi.

Kalmadi, who has been in the eye of the storm ever since the conduct of the games, received a fresh blow on February 11, when the CBI arrested Shekhar Mukund Deorukhkar from Pune. Deorukhkar has been accused of hiding facts about transactions and contract papers, which were eventually recovered during the raids conducted by the CBI.

Deorukhkar is the fourth person to have been arrested in connection with the CWG scams. The CBI had earlier arrested T S Darbari, Sanjay Mohindroo and M Jayachandran, all of whom are now out on bail.

Earlier on February 23, the CBI arrested Kalmadi’s key aides Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma on Wednesday in connection with alleged irregularities related to the event.

The arrest of the two took place after both were questioned about the Rs 107 crore contract that was awarded to a Swiss time-keeping company.

Bhanot, the former Organizing Committee Secretary General was booked under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, along with the Switzerland-based firm Swiss Timing Ltd and other unknown persons.

The CBI is also probing alleged irregularities in the hiring of Swiss firm Event Knowledge Services (EKS) as CWG’s technical consultant.

The document is expected to help the CBI establish the alleged role of Kalmadi and Bhanot in connection with scams surrounding the 2010 sporting extravaganza.

The original tender document, which comprised several files, was missing for over three months, since the CBI began its investigation. It has now been recovered.