CWG scam: CBI says babus clean on Swiss timer deal but no respite for Kalmadi

first_imgTop government officials might have been party to the awarding of the controversial time scoring and results (TSR) system contract to Swiss Omega for the Commonwealth Games. But the CBI believes the criminal culpability in the case stops at CWG organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi’s door.CBI sources said there was little likelihood of government officials, who were in committees that vetted the deal, being called for questioning. A senior official answered in the negative when asked if the OC’s CEO Jarnail Singh would be summoned.A letter by Singh, in which he pitched aggressively for the Swiss firm and said its bidding and credentials were the best, does not make him a suspect as he was not involved in the process of selecting the firm, sources said.The CBI’s decision is likely to be contested by many who believe Kalmadi was but one among the many top shots who conspired to line their pockets as the government cleared the red tape to ensure CWG projects were completed on time.Urban development secretary M. Ramachandran, sports secretary Sindhushree Khullar and additional secretary (finance) V. Ramachandran attended the third meeting of the finance subcommittee on December 17, 2009, which approved the tender for TSR system. Rahul Bhatnagar, a joint secretary in the sports ministry, was among the special invites.”The selection of Swiss Timing was done by putting every stage through the highest level of scrutiny not only by the OC finance committee … but also the empowered finance sub-committee constituted by the government, which is chaired by the secretary (urban development),” his letter said.advertisementSingh, in a letter on February 10, 2010 to Bhatnagar also vouched for the integrity of the OC and the Swiss firm. “The Swiss firm knew they are the only bidder, they need not have given any discounts from their commercial offer. Yet, the OC was successful in obtaining a discount of Rs 26.35 crore, which reflects on the integrity of both the vendor and the buyer,” he wrote.But a former OC official disagreed with the CBI. “There were many allegations against Kalmadi after preparations for the Games began. The gov-ernment constituted several teams to ensure his decisions were vetted. It would be wrong to put all the blame on him,” he said.”The government officials, including Singh, must be blamed as they failed to prevent the loot of public money,” he added.Singh claimed the decision to give the contract to the Swiss firm was Kalmadi’s and the executive board led by him. “I have not approved the TSR deal. It was decided long back,” he said.last_img

Leave a Comment