Kalmadi meets Krishna over AM Films row

August 3rd, 2010 - 4:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi Tuesday met External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and clarified his position on payment made by the committee to a Britain-based firm allegedly on the basis of a recommendation by an official of the Indian High Commission.
The OC is understood to have paid AM Films, an Indian-owned firm, over 450,000 pounds for services during the Queen’s Baton Relay function in London last October allegedly without following proper tendering procedure and paper work.

The OC chief has claimed that AM Films was paid for providing services, which was recommended by the high commission. Kalmadi had cited an e-mail by a junior official of the mission in support of his claim.

The Indian High Commission has denied making any recommendation and is preparing a reply to claims made by Kalmadi. “We are examining all aspects of the issue in detail,” said high commission spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

Other sources said the high commission was in the process of preparing its report after examining all the e-mails between its officials and the OC; and, in particular, the mails purportedly sent by the junior clerk, Raju Sebastian, introducing London-based firm AM Films, owned by one Asish Patel, to the OC.

They said Sebastian initially did not recall having sent such a mail, prompting the commission officials to call for all the e-mails to ascertain the specific e-mail addresses from which correspondence was sent to the OC.

OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot told reporters that Kalmadi and Krishna had met but declined to give any details.

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