CBI files fourth FIR, no mention of Kalmadi

The CBI Thursday filed a fourth police complaint over corruption related to the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and raided at least 10 premises of four companies in the national capital region. Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi does not figure in the probe agency’s fresh complaint.

‘The CBI has registered a case against director general and other officials of the Organizing Committee of CWG, 2010 and the managing directors of private companies and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the award of contracts for overlays at different venues for CWG at exorbitant rates,’ said Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Deputy Inspector General of Police Vinita Thakur.

The accused public servants abused their official positions, thereby, causing undue loss to the government and corresponding gain to the private companies and themselves, added Thakur.

The fourth First Information Report (FIR) registered by the investigative agency named Organizing Committee director general V.K. Verma for buying and hiring overpriced equipments. The contracts were worth over Rs.600 crore.

‘Searches were conducted at a number of places including the office and residential premises of accused persons. Several incriminating documents relevant to the on-going investigation have been seized,’ Thakur added.

Verma was also named in the third FIR lodged by the CBI over award of contracts and delays.

The raided companies have been linked to overlays at the CWG Village and other Games venues. The firms also acted as Indian arms of four international firms which got the contracts.

The contracts are also under the scanner of the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate.

Three cases were registered by the CBI earlier on different issues of corruption related to the Oct 3-14 event. Two of the cases related to the Queen’s Baton Relay, while a third was linked to award of contracts and delays.

Kalmadi’s over eight hours of interrogation Wednesday also focused on the overlays, sources said.

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.

CBI points finger at Aarushi’s parents, but lacks evidence

With the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) casting strong aspersions on the role of Aarushi Talwar’s father in her murder, the parents Saturday again lashed out at the agency for making “wild” allegations without a shred of evidence.

Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found murdered under mysterious circumstances in her parents’ Jalvayu Vihar apartment in Noida, Delhi’s suburban town in Uttar Pradesh, May 16, 2008. The family’s domestic help, Hemraj, was also found killed on the flat’s terrace a day later.

The CBI Wednesday moved a Ghaziabad court seeking its permission to close the Aarushi Talwar murder as an unsolved case on grounds of lack of conclusive evidence. In its closure report, the agency has named the girl’s dentist father Rajesh Talwar as the lone suspect in the case.

The closure report, a copy of which is with IANS, said the murder scene had been heavily dressed up, which could only have been done by her parents.

It further stated that a bottle of Scotch whisky was found on the dining table. But according to the probe agency, any intruder would not have had sufficient time to consume liquor on the night of murder May 16, 2008.

But the parents say they are being maligned.

These allegations are so wild, so speculative, and so imaginative that means there are people in the CBI who are absolutely unscientific. I mean they don’t even think like intelligent police officers. This is the state of the CBI? Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar told a news channel.

Reacting to media reports that Rajesh Talwar was the only suspect in the double murder case, she added: If they had chargesheeted, I would have defended myself in the trial. But this is something they have purposely left hanging to us for the rest of our lives. You close the case, yet you are left with suspicions on you the rest of your life.”

Nupur Talwar said both she and her husband were devastated by CBI’s allegations, having to relive the days of 2008 repeatedly.

“Today, Rajesh is not able to sit here and talk to you, because he is completely broken and shattered,” he said.

Lawyers representing Aarushi’s parents are now waiting for Monday, when they expect the special court in Ghaziabad to take up the closure report. The parents are already planning to file a protest petition to fight the CBI’s appeal to the court to close the case.

“Unless we see the complete closure report, it would be very premature to comment on any aspect of the case. If there are allegations against the Talwar couple, we will look into it. We will take up each and every aspect of the report point by point,” counsel Rebecca John told IANS.

She accused the CBI of “playing a game”.

“There is absolutely no evidence against Dr. Talwar, which makes the CBI’s allegations full of ambiguity,” she added.

The closure report also notes that during a lie detector test at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Gandhinagar, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar had said that they used to lock Aarushi’s bedroom at night.

The door to Aarushi’s bedroom had a lock which could be opened from inside without a key, but once it was shut, it could not be opened from outside without a key.

According to them, they found the door to Aarushi’s bedroom unlocked and slightly ajar on the morning of May 16, 2008. But they could not explain whether they had locked her bedroom on the night of May 15, and why the keys were not traceable the next morning after the girl’s murder was discovered.

According to the CBI, Aarushi’s room could either be opened by the girl from inside or her parents from outside by using the keys.

The findings of the investigation team reveal a number of circumstances that indicate the involvement of the parents in the crime and the cover-up, the agency’s closure report says.

However, there were a number of critical and serious gaps in the circumstances which made it difficult to string together the sequence of events and the motive behind the gruesome murder, the report said.

The probe team was handicapped by the inability of the local police to examine the scene of crime properly and collect all possible evidences, it said.

In 2008, Rajesh Talwar was arrested and kept behind bars for 50 days in connection with the killings, but was later let off because of lack of evidence. The CBI later arrested his medical assistant Krishna and two other domestic helps in the neighbourhood, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal.

The lawyer for the three employees Naresh Yadav said that if CBI had apprehension that the crime scene had been violated, then it should have registered a complaint.

“They (CBI) should have registered a case against the parents or the Noida police or the investigators if they found examples of tampering of evidence,” he said.