New Delhi: Two years
after the Oct 3-14, 2010 Commonwealth Games, that got mired in a
welter of corruption charges and led to the arrests of top people
associated with the organising committee, there have been no
convictions so far as the prosecution has failed to establish
guilt in courts of law.
While 12 cases of alleged corruption have been cleared of
wrongdoing, three cases are being tried in court, two involving
sacked Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, and there are
several pending police complaints.
There is, however, still no definitive figure on the cost of the
Games, which got India a record 101 medals and went off without a
hitch despite the corruption clouds in the preparations.
Kalmadi was sacked soon after the Games ended. The CBI arrested
him April 25, 2011 for allegedly misappropriating, along with his
associates, over Rs.90 crore in the hiring of TSR (timing,
scoring, result) equipment for the Games. He has been out on bail
since January in this case.
The second case relates to the Queen's Baton Relay in 2009 in
which the CBI has filed a chargesheet. The Enforcement Directorate
has also filed a chargesheet alleging irregularities of Rs.5 crore
in payments made to two London-based private firms AM Car and Van
Hire and AM Films.
There is also a third case in court but this does not involve
Kalmadi. This relates to tenders for international-level street
lighting on Delhi roads that were fraudulently given to Sweska
Power Tech Engineers Private Limited, causing a loss of Rs.1.42
crore to the exchequer. The four Municipal Corporation of Delhi
officials named in the case are out on bail.
Some other first information reports (FIRs) have also been filed
in different cases but have not yet translated into chargesheets.
Separately, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner has closed 12 cases
of alleged graft in the run-up to the Games -- the cost of which
escalated 100 percent in seven years.
When Indian Olympic Association (IOA) bid for the Commonwealth
Games in May 2003, the budget was estimated at Rs.296 crore. But
by the time the Games were conducted, the cost rose to Rs.28,054
In a debate in the Lok Sabha Aug 9, 2010, then urban development
minister S. Jaipal Reddy said 95.95 percent of the total expenses
for the Games relate to infrastructure improvements that may
remain in place long after the event.
Amid concerns over delay in completion of projects and cost over
runs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formed a group of ministers
headed by Jaipal Reddy to oversee the preparations and even had to
personally intervene to ensure that Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the
venue for the opening ceremony, was ready in time.
There were also complaints about poor arrangements at the games
village on the banks of river Yamuna and the quality of flats
constructed to host the visiting sportspersons.
But Kalmadi kept assuring everybody the games would be a success.
After the event, the Congress distanced itself from Kalmadi and
sacked him as the secretary of the its parliamentary party.
After protests against the Delhi government headed by Chief
Minister Sheila Dikshit, the prime minister had set up a
high-level committee headed by former CAG V.K. Shunglu. In its
report, the panel highlighted the acts of omission and commission
and lack of oversight by the government. A group of ministers
headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony is examining the report.
Last month, the BJP demanded Dikshit's resignation after a trial
court held as "maintainable" a complaint against Dikshit, PWD
minister Rajkumar Chauhan and Kalmadi for their alleged role in
the CWG scam.