High Commission refuses to join issue with Kalmadi

Updated: Aug 02, 2010, 20:15 PM IST

London: The Indian High Commission here refused to join issue with Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi over the controversy involving a London-based firm hired for the baton relay ceremony.

At a press conference in New Delhi, Kalmadi provided emails to substantiate his claim that the controversial A K Films was hired on the basis of recommendation made by Raju Sebastian, a junior ranking official in the High Commision.

For most of the day, the High Commission remained tight-lipped over the affair while the Press secretary, Ms Subhashini, was said to be on leave.

In her absence, Rabish Kumar, an official acting as the spokesman said, the High Commission was examining all aspects of the matter, but refused to say anything further.

Kalmadi had refuted the High Commission`s earlier claim that it had not made any recommendations, and asserted that the recommendation came from Raju Sebastian.

Kalmadi had said: "The Organising Committee would like to clarify that we had written to Mr Vikrant Ratan, the first secretary (Protocol) of the Indian High Commission, to provide us the list of agencies for transportation, accommodation and other services and their approved rates.”

"In response, Mr Raju Sebastian of the Protocol Division of the Indian High Commission, giving reference to our mail to the First Secretary Vikrant Ratan, informed that the approved vendors for transport are AM Car and Van and the Chauffeur Company," Kalmadi stated.

Kalmadi, also the Indian Olympic Association President, said the rates were also approved by the High Commission.

"He (Sebastian) also indicated the approved rates of the High Commission for accommodation and transportation.”

"In view of the clarification which clearly indicates that the Indian High Commission had recommended AM Car and Vans to the Organising Committee for QBR Launch Function at London, it is requested that the factual position in projected," Kalmadi said.