It was eight more nights in a Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) lockup for India's high profile MP and sports administrator
Suresh Kalmadi with a court Tuesday sending him to police custody
till May 4 on charges of irregularities in awarding contracts for
the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Kalmadi, who was arrested Monday and spent the night in CBI
lockup, found himself accosted by an unemployed man, who hurled a
slipper at him as he was walking into the Patiala House court
complex accompanied by scores of policemen.
While sending him to police custody, Additional District Judge
Talwant Singh said Kalmadi "would be medically examined after
every 48 hours and could also meet relatives and counsellors every
day for 40 minutes".
According to the CBI, Kalmadi has been arrested for buying TSR
(timing scoring and result) equipment from a Swiss firm, Swiss
Timing, at inflated price of Rs.141 crore for the event.
Also arrested for alleged criminal conspiracy and overspending of
public money in holding the Oct 3-14 Games last year were two more
officials of the Games panel, Sujit Lal and A.S.V. Prasad.
Addressing the court, packed with people who had to be told to
move back so that proceedings could begin, the public prosecutor
sought 14 days police custody and said Kalmadi's behaviour was
"evasive and non cooperative".
He was not "revealing the true facts and circumstances of the
criminal conspiracy which led to award of TSR contract to swiss
timing in a wrongful manner", V.K. Sharma said.
The CBI said custody was required as "voluminous incriminating
documents" had been recovered.
As Kalmadi, dressed in a white shirt, listened attentively during
the hour-long proceedings, defence counsel Hitesh Jain argued: "If
Kalmadi was not cooperating with the agency, then why did it not
arrest him six months back when the preliminary investigation was
It was a dramatic fall from the echelons of power for Kalmadi, who
is also the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president and the man
trusted with the holding of the prestigious Commonwealth Games.
He began his day Tuesday with the newspapers in the CBI lockup at
the CGO complex in central Delhi's Lodhi Road.
"He was kept in an air conditioned lockup room at CBI headquarters
which has all the basic facilities. He had a comfortable sleep
Monday night and just asked for some medicines which were
provided," a CBI official told IANS.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was unimpressed
with the action against Kalmadi and said it was an eyewash.
Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad district, BJP
president Nitin Gadkari said it was a Rs.70,000 crore scam and all
those behind it must be arrested.
"Kalmadi had a limited role of deciding the expenditure of just
Rs.1,400 crore for the Commonwealth Games… Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh must answer as to why only he was arrested when every file
related to the CWG had signatures of a Group of Ministers, cabinet
sub-committee, expenditure finance committee, Delhi chief minister
and the Prime Minister's Office," he said.
BJP leader Vijay Goel asked for Delhi Chief Minister Sheila
Stating that they would "come out clean", Dikshit said Kalmadi's
arrest was justifiable as there would have been "some basis" to
"How can you lap up whatever the opposition says or alleges? Why
does it (BJP) not say anything against (former Gujarat minister)
Amit Shah and (Karnataka Chief Minister) B.S. Yeddyurappa who
indulged in corruption?" Dikshit told IANS on the sidelines of an
event in the capital.
There are now 13 past and present Organising Committee officials
who have been arrested. Among them are Lalit Bhanot, a former
secretary general of the panel, and V.K. Verma, who was its
director general. The others are T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mohindroo,
M. Jayachandran, Shekhar Deorukhkar, K. Udai Kumar Reddy, Binu
Nanu, Sandeep Wadhwa and Praveen Bakshi.