New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday carried out searches at the residential premises of embattled Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and his aide in the national capital and in Pune in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in the conduct of the Games.
CBI sources said the raids began at about 7 am when a team over 10 agency sleuths simultaneously entered both the premises.
Besides Kalmadi, the premises of his personal secretary Manoj Bhure were also being searched by the CBI.
The raids comes days after it was reported that some of the crucial documents which could throw light on the Games deals have gone missing with the probe agencies fearing that they could have been destroyed or hidden.
Sources had said that the key files, which contain important information on tendering, budgetary allocation and contract details, are missing from the (OC) office.
They said that CBI officials have found sufficient evidence of criminal conspiracy by unknown OC officials in tampering with some documents and manipulating information in them. CBI officials have made a list of documents which are untraceable.
The CBI had recently written to the cabinet secretary apprising him about the need to move out Kalmadi and his deputy Lalit Bhanot from their OC posts as they were proving to be a roadblock in their investigations.
The agency has so far filed three FIRs in connection with the alleged irregularities in CWG and searched the residences of OC director general V.K. Verma and Bhanot on 30 November.
While one case is related to a Rs107-crore deal struck with a Swiss score keeping firm, the agency had registered two other FIRs in connection with the contract given to AM Films for the Baton Relay ceremonies by the OC in London.
The CBI had arrested OC’s joint director general T.S. Darbari and deputy director general Sanjay Mohindroo for their alleged complicity in these deals. Former treasurer Jayachandran has also been arrested by the agency.
The BJP said the raids have come very late.
“We are not very happy with this delayed raid, but would certainly expect a prompt, fair investigation and nabbing of the culprit as promised by the Prime Minister,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“Why so much of a delay, why so much of documents being allowed to be misplaced deliberately. I think this explanation is required....so much delay in raiding the premises of Kalmadi, who almost became a disgrace for the country. It is a very sorry state of affairs,” he said, adding “None of the guilty should be spared including those who have given quick approval to the loot of public money”.
Reacting to BJP’s remarks, Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natrajan said, “I don’t believe that CBI works to anybody’s agenda. The issue is that they are pursuing a particular inquiry, whatever work is being done, it is being conducted in accordance with that enquiry. We don’t expect the BJP the to understand how law takes course. Everything is a matter of political expediency for them”.
“It is not possible for an opposition party to dictate a time-frame in which an inquiry should be committed. All that the Prime Minister and government has said that the guilty will be brought to book and we have absolute confidence that this will be done,” she said.
Natrajan said, “Kalmadi has been the president of the Indian Olympic Association that has no relation to the membership of that party. We said on the first day that this really has nothing to do with the party nor is it of any concern to the party.”