CWG scam: Suresh Kalmadi tarnished country's image, CBI says

"We are opposing the bail plea (of Kalmadi) as other co-accused in this case    had already been denied bail by this court. Investigation is going on. Kalmadi's conduct has tarnished the image of the country," CBI prosecutor told Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh.

Kalmadi was arrested along with OC Joint Director General (Sport) A S V Prasad and OC Deputy Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal on April 25 for allegedly awarding an illegal contract to a Swiss firm for Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system for the mega sporting event last year causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.

CBI submitted Kalmadi constituted a committee of "handpicked persons" to push for a selected brand.

"It has come to light during investigation that in furtherance of the criminal conspiracy to cheat the government of India and to push for a selected brand, a committee of handpicked persons was formed by Kalmadi in conspiracy with other accused persons, with no persons having required technological qualification and knowledge.

"In a most superfluous and predetermined manner, without any basis or background, the name of a particular brand was recommended out of the blue for timing and scoring," CBI said in its reply opposing Kalmadi's bail.

CBI said that as part of the conspiracy, the accused persons also manipulated the minutes of the meeting of the OC's Financial Committee (OCFC).

"Manipulation was done in the minutes of the meetings of OCFC which is the committee that deliberated the Request for Proposal (RFP) for TSR. The factual minutes were changed and recorded in a convenient manner that did not actually reflect the true discussion as held during the meetings," CBI said.

The court reserved its order on the bail plea for May 21.

The agency said even when the tender was on and not a single bid had been received for the TSR, the accused declared that TSR would be provided by the Swiss Timing.

"The accused persons had become so brazen and bold with no care and fear of the rules, regulations and the laws that they openly declared that TSR will be provided by Swiss Timing even when the tender was on and not a single bid had been received," CBI said in its reply.

"An Expression of Interest (EOI) for acquiring TSR system was prepared and issued in a most wrong and illegal manner....The EOI criteria published were extremely generic and shabby and not as per scope of TSR.

"Moreover, below the EOI criteria for selection of electronic TSR system, it was declared that only 'Swiss Timing- OMEGA' meets all the criteria without any basis of such an assertive conclusion. No person having the required technology background was involved in the process," CBI said.

Meanwhile, pressing for Kalmadi's bail, senior advocate U U Lalit said he had extended his support at all stages of investigation to CBI.

"From lodging of the FIR till my arrest, at every level, I (Kalmadi) have extended my support. I even went to the extent that I did not file an anticipatory bail.
"At no stage has there been allegation that I have tried to flee from justice or influence anyone. I am out of OC and, therefore, have no access to any document to tamper with," Lalit said.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Kalmadi along with Lalit, pleaded with the court to grant him benefit under section 437 of the CrPC (bail to a sick or infirm) while highlighting his medical condition.

"With regard to a person with such a medical condition, one has to consider the stress and strains while being in custody. The judicial custody would not have the advantage of a regulated environment, which would impact his health," he said.

CBI, however, said Kalmadi, as the head of the OC, had "supreme and overriding powers".

"Any official of OC, who dared to protest against the illegal activities of Kalmadi and his associates, was threatened, harassed and removed from their position or were forced to leave," CBI said.

The CBI said the accused persons concealed facts saying, they "deliberately sat on files and concealed records" to prevent truth from coming to light.

Giving details of the conspiracy, the agency said, "While processing the Request for Proposal, the accused persons made the RFP extremely restrictive so as to further restrict competition and tilt the playing field in favour of M/s Swiss Timing Ltd, Switzerland."

The agency said that probe in this case is at a crucial stage and if Kalmadi is left free, he is likely to tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses.

Kalmadi had earlier told the court that he cannot be blamed for alleged irregularities in the award of the contract for TSR system to Swiss Timing at exorbitant rates as other agencies were also involved in the decision making.

His counsel Lalit had said the invitation for bids from experienced companies for TSR and allied services was put on the website for all and only two companies - Swiss Timing and MSL Spain - had applied for the contract, for which the former was found eligible at all stages and by all the agencies concerned.

The CBI also produced a document dated May 2009 seized from the OC office carrying notes written by Kalmadi in his own handwriting and the transcript of his conversation dated October 12, 2009 to show that he was deeply involved in the conspiracy in awarding of the contract.

Kalmadi (66) is lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody since May 4.

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