New Delhi: Over two years after the Commonwealth Games, a Delhi court is framed charges against sacked organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and nine others in the TSR scam first reported by CNN-IBN. Kalmadi pleaded not guilty in the court. All the accused in the case are out on bail.
Special CBI Judge Ravinder Kaur framed charges under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act against Kalmadi and other accused, including OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, in the case. Besides cheating and criminal conspiracy, the accused have also been charged with offences relating to forgery and use of forged documents as genuine, criminal intimidation, destruction of evidence of the IPC and section 13(1)(d) read with section 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servants) of the PC Act.
The court has fixed February 20 as the date for the commencement of trial in the case. The judge said that the evidence will be recorded on a day-to-day basis barring Monday and Friday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation claimed that they were involved in illegally awarding the contract for timing and scoring for the games to Swiss Timing. This allegedly caused a loss of about Rs 90 crore to the exchequer. After framing of charges the trial will begin and the court will summon prosecution witnesses in the case.
According to the CBI, the selection process for awarding the contract took around three years. Swiss Timing's first presentation was made one year after the publication of expression of interest. This was issued by Lalit Bhanot without the knowledge of Organising Committee's finance department.
Swiss Timing itself recorded Rs 18 crore as escalation cost due to delays. VK Verma then changed the eligibility criteria of the TSR deal without bringing it to the notice of OC executive board and Kalmadi ensured the committee formed to approve the TSR deal consisted of those who favoured Swiss Timing.
VK Gautam and Sujit Panigrahi were forced to resign from their positions in the OC as they opposed the choice of Swiss Timing. An overall loss of Rs 90 crore was incurred due to awarding the contract to Swiss Timing.
(With additional information from PTI)