CommonWealth Games scam: CBI Registers 4th FIR

NEW DELHI: CBI today searched 10 premises across NCR today in the alleged scam in Commonwealth Games overlays contracts including an office under Union Sports Ministry, as it registered a fourth FIR in which a top Games official V K Verma was booked in a second case.

The searches that began early this morning as part of the intensified probe by CBI were conducted a day after the agency questioned CWG Organising Committee(OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi for about nine hours.

Verma, a close aide of Kalmadi and Director General (Finance) of CWG OC, was booked under various sections for forgery, criminal conspiracy and Prevention of Corruption Act in the FIR registered yesterday, a CBI spokesperson said.

Verma's name also figured in the third FIR filed by CBI in connection with the award of Rs 107 crore Swiss Time Keeping contract along with that of CWG Secretary General Lalit Bhanot. He had earlier been questioned by CBI in connection with irregularities in Games projects.

The total value of the overlays contracts that are under scanner is over Rs 600 crore.

The premises of a close relative of BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal was among the places searched, official sources said.

The sources said raids were conducted at the premises of Binu Nanu and Roopana Binu, Director GL Events and Meroform India; Sandeep Wadhwa, Director Comfort Net Traders; Sebastin Brunet, Director, G L Events and Vinay Mittal, Director, Deepali Designs and Exhibits.

The premises of Chung Chee Kyong , Director, Pico-Deepali Overlays Consortium; Sanjay Malhotra , Director, Esaju D-Art Indo consortium and Martin Huthoefer, Head of Projects CWG-10, Nusli Switzerland Ltd besides office of International Sports Division were also searched, the sources said.

A CBI spokesperson said the FIR was registered under various sections of the law for award of contracts for overlays at different venues for Commonwealth Games at exorbitant rates.

"It is alleged that Director General, Organising Committee and others entered into a criminal conspiracy with Managing Director/Director of private companies in the award of contracts for overlays for different venues of CWG-2010 at exorbitant rates.

The accused public servants abused their official positions, thereby, causing undue loss to the Government of India and corresponding gain to the private companies and themselves," the spokesperson said.

The sources said a large number of documents including in digital format, have been seized from various premises in today's searches.


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CWG Village builders penalised Rs 183 cr

The guests have left the Commonwealth Games Village and the ghosts are returning to haunt the builder Emaar MGF and DDA which were awarded the project. The Urban Development Ministry which governs the DDA has fired the first salvo against the builder.

CNN-IBN learns that DDA is taking action against Emaar MGF for failing to complete the project on time.

DDA has fired the first salvo. The Centre will confiscate Rs 183 crore bank guarantee given by Emaar MGF for failing to deliver Games village on time.

CWG Village builders penalised Rs 183 cr
The DDA wants an additional Rs 84 crore as damages from Emaar MGF for going beyond the Games project deadline and not completing landscaping work.

It has decided to invoke the bank guarantee of Rs 183 crore. Legal action will be taken by DDA to recover other expenditure that includes - Rs 44.65 crore for not completing work including landscaping, Rs 38.65 crore for not completing the project on time. Sources say Emaar MGF also even failed to pay water and power bills.

In the middle of this fight between DDA and Emaar MGF close to 800 people who have paid anything between Rs 1.8 crore to Rs 4.8 crore, to own an apartment in this high-end project, are left in the lurch. Emaar was the sole bidder in 2007 and got 27.2 acres to build 1168 apartments.

The builders plan went haywire when their ambitious Rs 8000 crore IPO failed in February 2008.

However, DDA bailed out the builder paying Rs 770 crore and got rights to sell 333 apartments. Things then went from bad to worse. Emaar was denied a completion certificate in March this year (2010) as DDA accused the builder of unauthorized construction, Emaar MGF also took DDA to court. During the duration of the Games the Village got a temporary occupation certificate.

Emaar MGF is talking of a three month delay. With the Government asking the builder to account for every penny, occupying these flats will take more time than promised.


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Commonwealth Gold Medalist for more shooting ranges

Kolhapur girl Rahi Sarnobat, who along with Anisa Sayyed, won the Commonwealth Games gold in the pairs 25 m pistol event, on Saturday said she was so sure of her performance at the event that she had told folks at home she will return with gold.

"I was extremely confident of my performance. Before the Games, I told those at home that I will bag the gold," Sarnobat said at the official residence of her maternal uncle Shivajirao Deshmukh, Chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council.

The Sarnobat-Sayyed pair created a new CWG record by breaking the eight-year mark (1,150) of Australians. "I am happy that we broke the record," she said.

Sarnobat said her next target is the Asian Games, to be held in China from November 12-27.

"I underwent three years' training at the Pune range, which is among the two best ranges in India. The other world-class range is at Delhi."

More world-class shooting ranges should come up to help shooters practice and vie for global glory, she said.

"Chinese shooters have an edge as they have 50 class ranges there. There should be good ranges all over India."

Sarnobat is happy with Maharashtra Government offering her a Class 1 officer's post in recognition of her achievement.

"However, the cash prize Rs 10 lakh (for gold medalists) should be hiked to at least Rs 15 lakh."

"Look at other states. They have increased prize money for their CWG medal winners," she said.

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Australia will Pay for Damages at CWG Village

The Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) has regretted one of its athlete's indecent behaviour a few days back and has agreed to pay for the damage caused at the Games Village in a rowdy incident after Games closure, Lalit Bhanot, Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee secretary general, said Friday.

In a statement Bhanot said: "The media reports regarding Australian celebrations at the Athletes' Village and the resultant damage to a washing machine are true. The person in charge of Tower 21 brought it to the notice of the Village authorities. The issue was taken up with the ACGA, who regretted the incident and agreed to pay for the damage as per guidelines."

Commonwealth Games 2010

After the closing ceremony Thursday night, unidentified athletes dropped a washing machine from a balcony in the Australian section of the Games Village. Meanwhile, the athlete, whose identity has been withheld, was sent back home for bad behaviour some days back.

Delhi Police said no case has been filed in the incident as they have not received any official complaint from the organising committee.

The Australian high commission in a press release Friday morning termed as "sloppy journalism to a new low" the media report that "enraged by the humiliating loss, some athletes went berserk, destroying electrical fittings and furniture on Tuesday and Wednesday".

According to the report which quoted Delhi Police sources, the irate athletes also shouted slogans against batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who played a pivotal role in ensuring India's victory in the Bangalore Test match.

Terming the report "factually wrong, insulting to Australia's athletes and can only be described as a fantasy", the high commission release said: "It badly lets down a quality newspaper".

The release, however, admitted: "There were indeed some spirited celebrations involving the Australian team and a number of other teams at the Athletes' Village."

"We can confirm that in the course of those celebrations, a washing machine was damaged, though it remains unclear who did the damage, what their nationality was, and whether it was deliberate or accidental," the Australian high commission said.


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Commonwealth Games: PM Orders Probe Corruption Charges

NEW DELHI: With the Commonwealth Games over and demands for probe for mounting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight appointed a high-level committee headed by a former CAG to go into allegations of corruption related to the mega sporting event.

The committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) V K Shunglu, will submit its report to the Prime Minister within three months, PMO spokesman said.

The announcement came even as the CAG stepped into the picture to conduct assessment of various projects related to the CWG with officials set to visit all the stadia and go through records.

Significantly, CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, who has been in the line of fire over the corruption allegations, was snubbed when he was not invited to a felicitation at the Prime Minister's residence for Indian medal winners.

"The government has decided to constitute a high-level committee under former CAG V K Shunglu to look into all matters relating to organising and conduct of the Commonwealth Games 2010, New Delhi, including to draw lessons from it," the spokesman said.

The details of terms of reference will be announced in a day or two, the spokesman said.

The developments came as opposition parties, which had held their fire during the 12-day event, today stepped up their demand for thorough probe into corruption charges which the Congress said should be done and those guilty, if any, be brought to book.

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