Another Kalmadi aide granted bail

A Delhi court Saturday granted bail to former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) official Sanjay Mahendroo, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Queen’s Baton Relay scam in London in 2009.

A Patiala House court granted bail to Mahendroo, who was the deputy director general (marketing), as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) failed to file a chargesheet against him within the stipulated 60 days of his arrest.

The court also took in account the Delhi High Court’s Friday order, in which it granted granted bail to former OC official T.S. Darbari and slated for Jan 17 the hearing of the bail plea of another official, M. Jayachandran.

“In pursuance of the Delhi High Court order, the accused is enlarged on bail as the CBI could not file the chargesheet within 60 days,” Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini said in his order.

“They have completed their 60 days custody, and CBI is unable to find the chargesheet, therefore on technical grounds, bail should be granted,” the defence counsel said.

Darbari, the joint director general (revenue, marketing and chairman secretariat) in the OC and Mahendroo, the deputy director general (marketing), were arrested Nov 15.

The court granted bail to Mahendroo on a personal bond of Rs.50,000 with two sureties of the same amount and asked him not to leave the country without its permission. It also cautioned him against trying to influence prosecution witnesses or tamper with evidence in the case.

Meanwhile, the CBI has time till Jan 20 to file its chargesheet against Jayachandran, joint director (finance), who was arrested on Nov 21, failing which he too will be released on bail.

According to the Criminal Procedure Code, an undertrial is entitled for bail if the investigating agency fails to file a chargesheet within two months of his arrest.

The officials are facing charges of causing a loss of Rs.1.55 crore to the exchequer in awarding a contract for the Baton Relay function Oct 29, 2009, in London before the Commonwealth Games.

The CBI registered two cases in connection with contracts awarded at exorbitant rates to London-based AM Films and AM Car and Van Hire Limited.

The CBI has questioned OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi and carried out searches at his premises in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.

CBI has named Darbari, Mahendroo, Jayachandran, OC director Raj Singh, director of transport firm Ashish Patel, and other unknown persons under sections 468 (forgery of court records and public documents), 471 (using forged documents as genuine), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The second case involves London-based AM Films and the probe agency had named Patel, Mahendroo, Darbari and others under sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

The accused are already facing charges of violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and have been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED had registered its first case under FEMA in CWG after British authorities referred to the Indian High Commission a matter regarding AM Films, a little-known company, to which a huge sum of money was transferred through the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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.