By Duncan Mackay

Suresh_Kalmadi_April_26_2011April 26 - Suresh Kalmadi has been effectively sacked as the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and replaced by V K Malhotra, the head of the country's archery federation.

The decision to remove 66-year-old Kalmadi from the post he has held since 1996 came hours after a court in New Delhi ordered him to be held in custody on corruption charges linked to last year's Commonwealth Games.

Malhotra, 79, was named acting President in place of Kalmadi, who is an MP with the ruling Congress Party.

"The senior vice-president automatically takes over the duties when the President is not there," said Malhotra.

"In the event of a prolonged absence...the senior vice-president eventually assumes charge."

The move to replace Kalmadi came after a judge said the former chairman of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games should be held in police custody for eight days for questioning.

Kalmadi, arrested on Monday by the federal Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is accused of "wrongfully restricting and eliminating competition" from other would-be Games suppliers of timekeeping equipment.

Police allege the timekeeping contract was inflated by some $21 million.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken had warned the IOA that if they do not elect a new President they would take legal action to remove Kalmadi.

Earlier, a protester hurled a slipper at Kalmadi as he entered the court building.

The former fighter pilot appeared unconcerned by the attack as police detained the man, identified by local media as a lawyer upset about India's rampant corruption.

The court also extended by another eight days the custody of two other accused in the case, Games secretary general, Lalit Bhanot, and director general, V K Verma, who were arrested in February.

"They are not revealing the true facts and circumstances of the criminal conspiracy leading to the award of timing-scoring-result system contract to Swiss Timing in a wrongful manner," the CBI alleged in its court submission.

Swiss Timing, a subsidiary of Swatch Group AG, which has been timekeeper at several Olympics Games, most recently at Beijing in 2008 and is due to fulfill the same role at London 2012, has denied any wrongdoing.

The CBI said Kalmadi, Bhanot and Verma were "deeply involved" in the awarding of the contract to the company at "exorbitant rates, thus causing wrongful loss."

Kalmadi's replacement, Malhotra, is also one of India's top politicians.

He is Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly and has combined his political career with being one of India's top sports administrators.

Malhotra led India's team at the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran and the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.

He is the President of the Archery Association of India, and founder President of the Asian Archery Federation as well as the Commonwealth Archery Foundation.

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