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CWG scam: Court orders framing of charges against Kalmadi, others

Charges for illegally awarding a contract to Swiss firm, Swiss Timing Omega, causing huge loss to the exchequer

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A today ordered framing of charges against sacked CWG organising committee Chairman Suresh and others for offences of forgery, cheating and conspiracy in a Games-related graft case.

Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh passed the order on framing of charges against Kalmadi, former OC Secretary General Lalit and nine others for illegally awarding a contract to Swiss firm, Swiss Timing Omega, causing huge loss to the exchequer.

The court said "prima facie" charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and for offences under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act are made out against eight accused persons and three companies.

"Charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence), 420 (cheating), 467, 468, 471 (relating to forgery), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and section 13(1)(d) read with section 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servants) of the PC Act is ordered to be framed against all the accused," the court said.

"Put up for formally framing of charges on January 10 at 10.30 AM," the judge said.

The accused have been charge sheeted by the CBI for "illegally" awarding a contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 CWG to Swiss Timing at an inflated rates causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the public exchequer.

Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the other accused in the case are OC's Director General V K Verma, Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, Joint Director General (Sports) A S V Prasad and Treasurer M Jayachandran. They are no more associated with the sporting body.

Promoters of two construction companies - P D Arya and A K Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and A K Reddy of Hyderabad-based AKR Constructions are also accused in the case and so is Swiss Timing Omega.

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

During the arguments on charges, CBI counsel V K Sharma had argued that Kalmadi and others had decided to award the contract for installing the TSR system for the CWG to Swiss Timing even before the firm had bid for it.

Sharma had also said that for TSR installation, two bids had been received - one from Swiss Timing and other from MSL Spain, and the same were opened on November 4, 2009 but Kalmadi and Verma had announced in a meeting on October 12, 2009 itself that the contract would be given to Swiss Timing.

He had also said Kalmadi had made up his mind in advance to award the contract to the Swiss firm.

Kalmadi's counsel, however, had argued that the facts given in the CBI's charge sheet were contrary to the documents which the agency had filed in the court.

Kalmadi had told the court that he was only doing the work assigned to him as the OC chairman and nothing wrong was done by him in the entire process.

The counsel appearing for other accused had also opposed the allegations levelled against them by the CBI.

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