Indian officials arrested in Commonwealth Games corruption probe

Monday, 15 November 2010
Delhi Police guarding stadiumNovember 15 - Indian Police today arrested two top former officials of the Delhi Commonwealth Games on charges of corruption.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesman said sacked Organising Committee joint director general T. S. Darbari and deputy director general Sanjay Mahendroo were arrested after detectives raided their homes.

Anurag Kumar alleged the two handed out contracts at "exorbitant rates" to two London-based private firms for providing transport services and video screens for the Queen's Baton Relay in London in October 2009.

The CBI have charged the former officials with forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption as well as against owners of London-based companies -AM Car-Van Services and AM Films.

"It is alleged the accused officials in conspiracy with the London-based transport firm and its director awarded work to the firm at exorbitant rates without following the standard tender process," the CBI said in a statement.

"The work was awarded on the false premise that the firm was on the panel of Indian High Commission in London."

The statement added the second contract was "awarded on the basis of fake quotations.

"The accused persons caused huge loss to the Government of India and corresponding wrongful gain to the accused firms."

Queens baton Relay with Queen in background

Darbari and Mahendroo were sacked by the Organising Committee's chairman Suresh Kalmadi (pictured) after the scandal surfaced before the Games began.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has also received complaints alleging up to $1.8 billion of Games money was "misappropriated".

Claims include payments to non-existent organisations, wilful delays in executing contracts and over-inflated prices for many items including toilet rolls and treadmills.Months before the event began, the CVC reported a plethora of problems with construction work including the use of poor-quality materials.

In one of the worst incidents, a new footbridge next to the main stadium fell down and injured scores of labourers 10 days ahead of the opening ceremony.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a panel to investigate claims of financial irregularities and two other Government bodies are also running separate probes.


Related stories
August 2010: Kalmadi writes to MPs to defend himself over Delhi corruption claims
August 2010: Queen in "cold fury" over Commonwealth Games scandal
August 2010: Delhi Commonwealth Games continues spiral into crisis
August 2010: Kalmadi blames Indian High Commission in London for Queen's Baton Relay row
July 2010: Kalmadi rejects reports Delhi organisers have misused money
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