Kalmadi homes raided over Commonwealth Games corruption allegations
Friday, 24 December 2010
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
December 24 - India's federal investigators today searched the residences of Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of Delhi 2010, as it continued its investigations into alleged corruption at the Commonwealth Games.
A team of seven policeman from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided homes of Kalmadi in New Delhi and the western city of Pune, the bureau's spokeswoman Binita Thakur said.
They also raided the home Kalmadi's personal secretary, Manoj Bhure.
"Investigators will scrutinize all aspects of the Games - organisation and planning, the awarding of contracts and how the work was supervised," said the spokeswomman.
The CBI has allegedly claimed that Kalmadi is trying to "block" its inquiry into the corruption claims.
The CBI had recently written to the Cabinet Secretary claiming that Kalmadi and his Deputy, Lalit Bhanot, should be dropped from the Organising Committee because they were trying to block the investigation.
Critical documents that could serve as evidence against Kalmadi and the Organising Committee have also allegedy disappeared from their office in Delhi.
Three other aides of Kalmadi - T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mohindroo and M. Jayachandran - are already in custody in connection with corruption related to the Games.
Kalmadi resigned as secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party in November, while the investigative agency said in a statement the same month that it had registered a case of criminal conspiracy against Darbari and Mohindroo who "abused their official position" to award a contract at an "exorbitant" cost of 1.07 billion rupees (£15.2 million/$23.6 million) for getting timing and scoring systems.
Besides the CBI investigation, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Central Vigilance Commission, Enforcement Directorate and other agencies are investigating the alleged irregularities in hosting the Games.
A recent survey discovered that 74 percent of Indians believe that the country has gotten more corrupt in the past three years, and only a quarter feel that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Government has been effective in fighting graft, according to Transparency International's 2010 Global Corruption Barometer.
Indians consider political parties to be the most corrupt institutions in the country, the report said.
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