Indian court to frame charges against Kalmadi next month

Thursday, 10 January 2013
By Tom Degun

KalmadiJanuary 10 - A court in India has fixed February 4 as the date for framing charges against former Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games chairman Suresh Kalmadi for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs.90 crore (£10,530,000/$16,896,440/€12,896,100) to the public exchequer in a Games related graft case.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Ravinder Kaur deferred the framing of charges to next month, saying she needs more time to go through the entire records of the case before passing any order.

Kalmadi and nine others, including former Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games secretary general Lalit Bhanot, had appeared in court last month over the corruption allegations.

Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the others charged are V K Verma, Surjit Lal, A S V Prasad and M Jayachandran who all worked for Delhi 2010 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.

As well as cheating and conspiring, the ten individuals will be charged with the offences of forgery and criminal misconduct.

kalmadi and bhanot 100113Suresh Kalmadi (L), secretary general Lalit Bhanot (R) and eight others will face corruption charges on February 4

Kalmadi and the accused are alleged to have illegally awarded a contract to install the timing, scoring and results system for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to Swiss Timing at inflated rates, causing the loss of over Rs.90 crore (£10,530,000/$16,896,440/€12,896,100) to the public exchequer.

The key focus in court will undoubtedly be on Kalmadi, who was released on bail in January last year after nine months in custody.

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.

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 has denied all charges.

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

He has also denied all charges.

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.

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Related stories
December 2012: Kalmadi officially charged in connection with Delhi 2010 corruption allegations
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
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