CBI raids Kalmadi, Games office in three cities (Fourth Lead)December 24th, 2010 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi/Mumbai/Pune, Dec 24 (IANS) The CBI Friday raided the homes of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi in Pune, Mumbai and New Delhi as part of a sweeping probe into financial wrongdoing in the Games that has led to the arrest of three of his colleagues.Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers also searched the Games Organising Committee office in New Delhi and the residence of a close aide in Pune, Kalmadi’s political base, CBI spokesperson Vinita Thakur said.
“The raids began early morning today. We are still searching the places,” Thakur, a CBI deputy inspector general, told IANS. She gave no further details.
A Congress MP from Pune, Kalmadi says he has done no wrong and was willing to face any inquiry. Despite repeated attempts, IANS could not reach him.
A sceptic Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called the CBI action “too little, too late”.
“The whole country knows there is a scam of more than Rs.70,000 crore ($15.5 billion) as far as the Commonwealth Games are concerned. The CBI action is too little, too late,” BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
But BJP president Nitin Gadkari sang a different tune, saying while he welcomed the raids, action also needed to be taken against others who were framing policies regarding the organisation of the Oct 3-14 Games.
“Kalmadi is being made a scapegoat,” Gadkari added.
The well-coordinated CBI operation began around 7 a.m. in all three cities, with the raiding teams in Pune and Mumbai led by officers flown in from New Delhi.
Official sources in Pune said Kalmadi’s house off Karve road was raided by a seven-member team. His close aide Manoj Bhore’s house in the city was also searched.
The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in the Organising Committee’s contract of Rs.107 crore spent on overlays.
The charges against Kalmadi include overspending — by crores of rupees. Kalmadi has said in his defence that many of the equipment were bought by the Organising Committee late due to lack of storage space and because the Games venues were not ready for installation.
Kalmadi’s Mumbai residence, where CBI officers conducted their search for about three hours, is located on the elite Pochkanwala Road in Worli.
Informed sources said the CBI also questioned Kalmadi’s aide Vinod Surve in Mumbai. CBI officials did not confirm this.
The Commonwealth Games, which drew nearly 7,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories, had been marred by controversies even before they began — on charges of shoddy work, delays and corruption.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had said earlier that the guilty would be punished. The Congress has sidelined Kalmadi, who was elected to the Lok Sabha for the third time in 2009 from Pune. He has also been a Rajya Sabha member four times.
Three other aides of Kalmadi in the Organising Committee — T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mohindroo and M. Jayachandran — are in custody in connection with another financial scam related to the Games.
That concerns money paid to AM Films - a sister concern of AM Car - for services during the Queen’s Baton Relay function in London in October 2009 allegedly without following proper tender procedures and paperwork.
The CBI had earlier questioned two other senior Organising Committee officials, Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and Director General V.K. Verma, as well as Sangeeta Welinkar, another official.
- Kalmadi's Mumbai residence also raided - Dec 24, 2010
- CBI raids Kalmadi in hunt for CWG tainted money (Roundup) - Dec 24, 2010
- CBI raids Kalmadi in hunt for CWG tainted money (Intro Roundup) - Dec 24, 2010
- Kalmadi houses raided, says ready for full investigation (Lead) - Dec 24, 2010
- CBI questions Kalmadi's close aide Shekhar - Dec 24, 2010
- CBI raids Kalmadi's premises (Lead) - Dec 24, 2010
- CBI raids Kalmadi homes, Games office (Second Lead) - Dec 24, 2010
- CBI raids Kalmadi's Delhi, Pune residences, Games office (Third Lead) - Dec 24, 2010
- CBI action against Kalmadi, Raja very late: BJP - Dec 24, 2010
- Kalmadi evades CBI, may be quizzed Wednesday (Second Lead) - Jan 04, 2011
- CWG scam: Kalmadi removed as Organising Committee Chairman - Jan 24, 2011
- CWG scam: Kalmadi arrives at CBI headquarters for questioning - Jan 05, 2011
- CWG scam: Defiant Kalmadi says ready to face any probe - Mar 05, 2011
- CWG scam: CBI summons Kalmadi for questioning - Dec 29, 2010
- Kalmadi to appear before CBI next week - Dec 29, 2010
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