NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Thursday fixed February 4 for framing charges against sacked Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organizing Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the public exchequer in a Games-related graft case.
The special judge has taken charge of this court on January 2 after the earlier judge, who had ordered framing of charges, was transferred. The case was fixed for Thursday for formally framing of charges against all the accused.
The court had on December 21, 2012 passed the order on framing of charges under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act against Kalmadi and nine others, including former Organizing Committee (OC) Secretary General Lalit Bhanot.
Besides cheating and conspiracy, the accused will also be charged with the offences of forgery under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and criminal misconduct by public servants under the PC Act.
“Charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy), read with 201 (destruction of evidence), 420 (cheating), 467, 468, 471 (relating to forgery), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and section 13(1) (d) read with section 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servants) of the PC Act is ordered to be framed against all the accused,” the court had said.
The accused have been charge sheeted by the CBI for “illegally” awarding a contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 CWG to Swiss Timing at inflated rates causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the public exchequer.
Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the other accused in the case are OC’s former Director General V K Verma, former Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, former Joint Director General (Sports) A S V Prasad and former Treasurer M Jayachandran. They are no more associated with the sporting body. The court had said substantial charges of misusing official position have been made out against six former OC officials, who were public servants.
Apart from the six, promoters of two construction firms – P D Arya and A K Madan’s Gem International based in North Indian city of Faridabad and A K Reddy of AKR Constructions which is based in South Indian city Hyderabad are also accused in the case. Swiss Timing Omega is also an accused in the case.
The court, while ordering framing of charges against the accused, had said that as accused Swiss Timing Omega, which was allegedly awarded the contract at exorbitant rates, is not appearing in the court despite proper service of summons, its “trial is separated.”
The CBI had alleged that Kalmadi and others had rejected Spanish firm MSL’s much lower bid of Rs 62 crore and awarded the contract to Swiss Timing Omega, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.
During the arguments on charges, CBI counsel V K Sharma had argued that Kalmadi and others had decided to award the contract for installing the TSR system for the CWG to Swiss Timing even before the firm had bid for it.
Kalmadi’s counsel, however, had argued that the facts given in the CBI’s charge sheet were contrary to the documents which the agency had filed in the court.
Kalmadi had told the court that he was only doing the work assigned to him as the OC chairman and nothing wrong was done by him in the entire process.
The counsel appearing for other accused had also opposed the allegations leveled against them by the CBI.