CBI raids Lalli’s premises, files case for CWG corruption (Second Lead)

March 4th, 2011 - 2:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday searched the homes and office premises of suspended Prasar Bharati CEO B.S. Lalli as part of a crackdown to unearth corruption in Commonwealth Games contracts, officials said.

The search operation that started early Friday morning and continued till afternoon came hours came after the premier probe agency registered a case against Lalli for alleged irregularities in awarding the broadcasting contract of the Oct 3-14 Games to a British firm, SIS LIVE, for Rs.246 crore. This is said to have caused a loss of Rs.135 crore to the nation.

Searches were also conducted at the house and office of Waseem Ahmed Dehlvi, director of private production house Zoom Communications, who has also been named in the corruption case, CBI officials said. Zoom is the Indian private firm that received the sub-contract from SIS LIVE at the cost of Rs.177 crore.

The places where raids were conducted include Lalli’s Pandara Road residence, his Mandi House office and Dehlvi’s Greater Kailash-1 residence and Kalkaji office, CBI official R.K. Gaur said.

Lalli, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1971 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre, was placed under suspension Dec 21, 2010 after his name surfaced in the scam.

CBI registered the case against Lalli after the ministry of information and broadcasting gave the go-ahead for his prosecution for alleged wrongdoing in awarding the contract to SIS Live. The British firm then sub-contracted the deal to Zoom Communication.

A panel formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the responsibility for “providing undue benefit” to SIS LIVE and Zoom Communications is of then Prasar Bharati CEO and director general Doordarshan Aruna Sharma.

The panel said “the actual cost of the contract awarded to SIS Live was at best about Rs.111 crore, thus resulting in a profit of at least Rs.135 crore to to the company”.

While the Lalli’s prosecution was cleared, the ministry says it is studying the response from Sharma for her role in awarding the contract.

Both Lalli and Sharma have denied allegations of any wrongdoing.

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