Had no option but to give contract to Swiss firm: Jarnail

New Delhi: Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) chief executive Jarnail Singh has admitted that he had no other option but to give the inflated contract to a Swiss-firm for time, scoring and results (TSR) deal as not much time was left for the 2010 Games.

"In the TSR contract, when I came into the scene, it was too late. At that stage, if I hadn`t approved it, it would have put the games delivery at risk," Singh was quoted as saying by a news channel.

"As per the games` master schedule, which governed the different stages of all the contracts, this TSR contract should have been awarded by 2008. It was delayed so much that eventually, when Mike Fenell (president of Commonwealth Games Federation) was pressurising, then at that time, if the time was less than one year, it was difficult to get any international vendor. So, out of the total contracts, I had seen, out of 540, only 35 to 37 contracts were awarded by December 2009 and 503 contracts from January 2010 to October 2010," said Singh, who was appointed by the Prime Minister`s Office (PMO).

Singh is now being accused of approving a contract with a Swiss firm for the TSR system that led to the arrest of former OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

The news channel also revealed that Singh, in a letter to the sports ministry, approved the Swiss Timing Ltd-Omega ahead of Spanish firm MSL Software, which had quoted a much lower price for the Games.

In the letter, Singh said that Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell and chief executive Mike Hooper also approved the company.

The letter was a reply to sports ministry, which was, in fact, looking into a complaint on the deal forwarded to it by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

The TRS contract was finally awarded to Swiss Timing Ltd-Omega, at an inflated cost of Rs. 141 crore, causing a loss of Rs.95 crore to the exchequer. The deal has landed Kalmadi in jail as he was arrested Monday by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for awarding the Swiss firm.