CWG scam: Kalmadi and Verma get bail

NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted bail to Suresh Kalmadi, MP and former chief of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, accused in a corruption case related to the 2010 sporting event.


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Published: Fri 20 Jan 2012, 11:52 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:19 AM

His aide V K Verma was also given bail. While granting them bail, Justice Mukta Gupta directed them to furnish before the trial court a bail bond ofRs500,000 each and two sureties of the like amount.

Justice Gupta said, “There is no allegation that the petitioners are likely to flee from justice and will not be available for the trial.”

The court directed them not to leave the country without prior permission of the trial court.

While allowing their plea for bail which cited Supreme Court’s judgement in 2G spectrum case wherein it was held that “bail is rule and jail is exception”, Justice Gupta said, “There is no allegation of money trail to the petitioners. There is also no evidence that the petitioner is threatening witnesses or interfering with evidence during investigation or trial.”

Kalmadi had moved the High Court in January, seeking bail citing the Supreme Court’s judgement in 2G spectrum case. Kalmadi said only a charge sheet has been filed against him and there was remote possibility of commencement of the trial in the near future. The CBI had, however, opposed the bail pleas of Kalmadi and Verma and referred to the trial court’s on January 4 order submitting that it has been decided that the case would be heard on a day-to-day basis soon after scrutiny of documents. It had also said that there was nothing new in the “bail-is-rule-and-jail-an-exception” remark of the apex court while granting bail in the 2G case. Kalmadi was arrested by the CBI on April 25, 2011 while Verma was arrested on February 23, 2011 for their alleged role in awarding a contract for installing the Timing-Scoring-Result system to Swiss Times Omega at an exorbitant cost of Rs1.4 billion, allegedly causing a loss of over Rs 950 million to the public exchequer.

The New Delhi Commonwealth Games, attended by 54 countries, was trailed by controversy, charges of financial mismanagement, bungled preparations, contractual fiasco and mudslinging between those at the helm.

Kalmadi’s bail order evoked mixed responses.

While Congress leader Digvijay Singh said bail was the right of every accused, Balbir K Punj of the Bharatiya Janata Party said the bail “does not declare Kalmadi innocent”.

IOA vice-president Tarlochan Singh said it was up to Kalmadi to decide whether to return as the IOA chief.

The accused and two companies in the case were charged under the Indian Penal Code for cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery, and booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Seven other accused, including Kalmadi aides Lalit Bhanot and M Jayachandran, are in Tihar Jail in what was seen as thebiggest scandal in India’s sports history . —

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