A conference table for RS3.73lakh, a two-seater sofa set for RS2.41lakh, a meeting table for eight for RS2.71lakh and a side-table worth RS1.25lakh. These were among the 54 furniture items — worth RS1.88crore — purchased by Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC), for use at its rented office space at the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) building, which is under the Central Bureau of Investigation scanner.
These purchases were allegedly unwarranted and at exorbitant rates, despite knowing that their usage would only be for a few months, at best, according to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) source who is not authorised to speak to the media.
Most of the purchases of the office furniture were allegedly made in March 2009 even though the OC had shifted to its Jantar Mantar address by then, said the source.
The contract for the purchases of the office furniture, according to the source, was given to the Indian representative of an Italian firm.
The source added, "The OC officials had splurged RS1.88crore on office furniture for temporary use at the IOA building, then left them there, which was a misuse of funds meant for conducting Games."
The CBI is likely to lodge a case related to irregularities in the purchase of R1.88crore worth of office furniture.
As part of its CWG corruption scam probe, the CBI has already lodged 14 cases and is expected to file up to 10 more.
HT had, on August 11, first reported on the CBI examining allegedly questionable payments made by the OC to IOA which included these purchases worth RS1.8crore and around R4crore towards the renovation of the latter’s building.
The CBI is also examining allegations that the OC undertook to renovate the entire 20,000 square feet of the IOA Bhawan even though the former had rented office space at only around 6,750 sq ft (33.75%) of the total space.