CWG organising committee forms panel to probe irregularities

August 3rd, 2010 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) Tuesday formed a three-member panel to probe the foreign ministry’s allegations that a letter from the Indian High Commission in London, which CGOC claimed recommended AM Films for the Queen’s Baton Relay inaugural in October last year, was tampered with.
Organising committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot said the three-member committee comprises Jarnail Singh, chief executive of organising committee, G.C. Chaturvedi, special director general finance and Gurjyot Kaur, chief vigilance officer of the organising committee and will also deal with the UK-based company.

“The organising committee has taken serious note of the issue. The three-member committee will look into the issue of money being paid for Queens Baton Relay in London and the controversy over the letter from the Indian High Commission. The committee will also look into the reports of escalating overlays costs,” Bhanot said.

The organising committee is understood to have paid AM Films, an Indian-owned firm, over 450,000 pounds for services during the Queen’s Baton Relay inaugural without proper tendering procedure and paper work.

Organising committee president Suresh Kalmadi claimed that AM Films was recommended by a junior official, Raju Sebastian, of the mission and produced copies of e-mails as evidence.

Kalmadi met external affairs minister S.M.Krishna earlier in the day. Krishna has also expressed his concerns regarding the issue as the Indian High Commission has denied making any recommendation and is preparing a reply to the claims made by Kalmadi.

Asked what transpired in the meeting, Bhanot said: “I am not aware what they discussed in the meeting.”

The sports ministry has also shot off a letter to the organising committee. In a letter to Kalmadi, sports secretary Sindhushree Khullar has asked for the removal of T.S. Darbari (OC joint Director General) and Sanjay Mahendroo (OC Deputy Director General) after their names cropped up in the investigations related to financial irregularities during the Queen’s Baton Relay inauguration.

Bhanot admitted that the organising committee has received the letter.

“We have received the letter raising concerns on the involvement of Mahendroo and Darbari. Mahendroo has left long back and Darbari is still working with us,” he said.

Asked if Darbari would be suspended pending investigations, Bhanot said: “The committee has just been constituted. Let them meet for the first time and take a decision.”

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