Thursday, February 24, 2011

CWG Scam:Bhanot and Verma arrested

Two close aides of sacked CWG organising Commitee chairman Suresh Kalmadi -former Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and Director General V K Verma were on Wednesday arrested in connection with alleged irregularities in the Rs 107 crore deal inked with a Swiss timing firm.Deputy Inspector General of CBI Bineeta Thakur told reporters in New Delhi that the two had been arrested and would be produced before a designated court on Thursday.

They were arrested in connection with the investigations being carried out by the agency in a case registered for procuring Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) Systems at exorbitant rates of Rs 107 crore.To a question whether sacked chairperson Kalmadi would also be arrested, she said "let us wait and see. Its all a matter of investigations and we cannot say anything right now."

The two officers had abused their official position and entered into a criminal conspiracy with the foreign firm and other unknown persons "to cheat the government in awarding contract to the said company for acquiring TSR System at exorbitant rates of Rs 107 crore," Thakur said.

Bhanot and Verma were earlier called for questioning at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi.CBI had registered a case against the two under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, along with Switzerland-based firm Swiss Timing Ltd and other unknown persons.Bhanot reached the CBI Headquarters Wednesday morning and he was questioned in connection with details relating to the contract given to the Swiss time-keeping company.Verma joined him in questioning soon after.

In its FIR, the agency had alleged that Expression of Interest (EoI) was published announcing that only the Swiss firm met the laid down criteria."Subsequently, request for proposal (RFP) was issued on October 1, 2009. This was surreptitiously amended on October 4, 2009, thereby making the bids even more restrictive. In response to RFP, two bids were received. However, a Spain-based firm was allegedly wrongfully eliminated at the pre-qualification bid stage," the CBI had alleged in the FIR filed in the court.

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