Kalmadi arrested by CBI
Former Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi
was arrested by the CBI Monday after he was questioned again in
connection with alleged irregularities in the contracts awarded
for the 2010 »
New Delhi: Influential chiefs of the national sports federations went into a
huddle Monday to chalk out their future course of action following
the arrest of Suresh Kalmadi, the sacked chief of the 2010 CWG
organising committee, and some of them were highly critical of
Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken asking for his removal as the
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president.
The moment it became imminent that Kalmadi was being chargesheeted
for awarding the Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) contract to a
Swiss firm, some senior IOA officials, including secretary general
Randhir Singh, switched off their cell phones, but those who took
calls were clear that they would not like to dump Kalmadi on a
mere chargesheet as Maken wants.
The officials felt Maken was interfering in the internal affairs
of the apex body of Indian sports by giving his "unsolicited
Seniormost IOA vice president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who is likely
to step in if Kalmadi's incarceration is prolonged, said some
members got in touch with him and they would firm up their stand
in a day or two.
"The situation is complex with politics overtaking sport. The
situation is fluid and the IOA members will have to coolly and
dispassionately discuss the matter, keeping the interests of
Indian sport in view," Malhotra told IANS.
Under the IOA constitution, Kalmadi cannot be removed unless he
himself decides to go or a no-confidence motion is caried by a
two-thirds majority. Both are unlikely to happen till the case
against him is disposed of.
The IOA secretary general has called a meeting May 1 to discuss
the latest war of letters between the IOA and sports ministry on
the government guidelines.
Kalmadi, who has been charged with conspiracy and cheating and
under the Prevention of Corruption Act, was arrested Monday
afternoon after being grilled for the fourth time on CWG contracts
being awarded to the most expensive firms, including the Timing,
Scoring and Results (TSR) system to a Swiss firm.
Another senior IOA official and former MP Tarlochan Singh
vehemently disagreed with the perception that a mere chargesheet
"is good enough for someone to be removed, least of all by the
"One look at the parliament, the union cabinet and state
ministries will tell you that quite a few of them should have quit
if the same yardstick is applied," Singh said, adding that even a
speaker of an assembly had got bail in a graft case and continues
Tarlochan Singh said if the government is serious about finding
the truth, then a fast-track court should be set up to hear the
case on a day-to-day basis. "It is not a question of charging, but
proving the criminal intent," he said.
Expressing more or less similar views, Hockey India secretary
general Narendra Batra went a step further to say that he stood by
Kalmadi as he is innocent unless proved otherwise by a court of
"If a chargesheet is all that one needs to hang a person then half
the union cabinet and a majority of ministers in the states,
including a couple of chief ministers, will have to go. I disagree
with the perception and I stand by Kalmadi," said Batra.
"The law should be the same for everyone. I can list any number of
high-profile politicians who are free and going about their work
as ministers and MPs. You can't have a different rule for Kalmadi.
Why should he quit unless he is proved guilty," asked Batra, who
described himself as a newcomer to the IOA family.
Another official, the secretary general of a national sports
federation who did not want to be named, questioned the sports
minister, who said the IOA cannot have a chargesheeted person or
one who is behind bars, as its president.
"The sports minister's unsolicited advice was unfortunate, it
amounts to government interference in IOA's internal affairs."
The official said barely a month ago the IOA general body had
passed a unanimous resolution during the National Games in Ranchi
praising Kalmadi and his team's performance during the
"In a full house, there was no dissenting voice at Ranchi and the
resolution hailing his work was adopted unanimously," the official