Kalmadi ducks CBI, aides Bhanot and Bhore questioned

Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, who was supposed to appear before the CBI for questioning about financial irregularities in the conduct of the October Games, evaded the investigative agency Tuesday, an official said.”We have no idea when he (Kalmadi) will appear for qestioning,” a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official told.

However, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot and Kalmadi’s close aide Manoj Bhore were questioned at the CBI office here Tuesday.

Kalmadi was summoned for questioning Dec 31, 2010, by the premier investigative agency. But he offered to appear for investigation any time after Jan 3.

On Dec 24, the CBI raided the Delhi and Pune homes of Kalmadi as well as the Games office here, two months after the mega event ended amid allegations of major financial irregularities.

His close aide Bhore’s house in Pune was also searched.

Kalmadi, a senior Congress leader from Maharashtra, is a member of the Lok Sabha, elected for the third time in 2009 from Pune. He has also served four terms in the Rajya Sabha.

The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in the Organising Committee’s contract of Rs.107 crore with a firm to procure the Time Scoring Board.

Kalmadi claimed that he had done no wrong and was willing to face any inquiry.

Three other aides of Kalmadi — T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mohindroo and M. Jayachandran — are already in custody in connection with another financial scam related to the Games.

The agency has so far filed three complaints of alleged irregularities in the CWG preparations. Two of the first information reports (FIR) are about the contract to AM Films, a firm in London, for the Queen’s Baton Relay function. The other one is related to Rs.107 crore spent on overlays at the CWG Village and other Games venues.