Kalmadi officially charged in connection with Delhi 2010 corruption allegations

Friday, 21 December 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Suresh Kalmadi head and shouldersDecember 21 - Suresh Kalmadi will face corruption charges next month linked to the New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, a court in India ruled today. 

Kalmadi, who was the chairman of Delhi 2010, and 10 others face charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

They all deny wrongdoing.

The charges are due to be read out on January 10.

Kalmadi was released on bail in January after nine months in custody.

India's federal investigation agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), arrested him in April 2011 "for conspiracy to cause favour to a company in Switzerland while procuring timers and scoring equipment for the Games".

Kalmadi has been forced to step down as President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as a result of the row, having led it since 1996.

But he remains a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) ruling Council.

Besides Kalmadi, the court ordered charges be brought against Delhi 2010 secretary general Lalit Bhanot, and nine others for illegally awarding the contract to Swiss Timing, the umbrella firm for Omega, a worldwide Olympic partner.

Lalit Bhanot at CWG 2010Delhi 2010 secretary general Lalit Bhanot is facing corruption charges along with Suresh Kalmadi

The CBI alleges that Kalmadi and others had rejected Spanish firm MSL's much lower bid of Rs. 62 crore and awarded the contract to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer.

It is alleged that Kalmadi had decided to award the contract to Swiss Timing even before they officially bid for it.

Bhanot spent 11 months in custody last year on corruption charges linked to the event before he too was released on bail.

Bhanot is currently at the centre of a row between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the IOA after he was elected as the new secretary general despite warnings that he should not be. 

Kalmadi, a sitting Member of Parliament, has also been charged with corruption in a case related to contracts at a 2009 event in London which marked the start of the Queen's Baton Relay across Commonwealth countries.

He denies those charges too.

Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the others charged are the Delhi 2010 director general General V K Verma and Surjit Lal, A S V Prasad and M Jayachandran, who all worked for the Organising Committee in senior positions.

The officials from two construction companies involved in building facilities for Delhi, P D Arya and A K Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and A K Reddy of Hyderabad-based AKR Constructions, have also been charged. 

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Related stories
October 2012: Kalmadi bows to IOC pressure and abandons IOA Presidency re-election ambitions
October 2012: IOC Ethics Commission recommends suspension for Kalmadi and aides ahead of IOA elections
July 2012: Indian Sports Ministry angry after Kalmadi given permission to travel to London 2012
April 2011: Kalmadi sacked as President of Indian Olympic Association
April 2011: Kalmadi arrested on Commonwealth Games corruption charges
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