The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sent a senior investigator to Switzerland to quiz officials of a Swiss firm, Swiss Timing-Omega, which had been awarded the contract to provide Timing, Scoring, & Result (TSR) system by the Games' Organising Committee (OC).
The CBI investigator, deputy inspector general Rakesh Aggarwal, will "seek from the Swiss Timing officials, their version on the award of the TSR contract at an inflated cost of Rs 107 crore by the OC," said a CBI source who is not authorised to speak to the media. Aggarwal, the source added, "will help the Swiss authorities execute our formal request — through the issuance of a Letters Rogatory to them — for their help in the TSR case."
CBI recently grilled officials belonging to two Indian firms that were sub-contractors of the Swiss firm for the TSR deal. The CBI suspects that the Rs 23 crore paid to the two sub-contractors were allegedly exorbitant considering the scale of the work done by them. "We want to know who were the end-recipients of this Rs 23 crore payment," said a CBI official.
The CBI has accused some OC officials of showing alleged favour to the Swiss firm by manipulating the tendering process in a bid to restrict participation and eliminate its lone rival, Spain's MSL Software.
The Spanish firm had quoted a price — Rs 48 crore — that was about R59 crore less than the Swiss firm's rate but was allegedly disqualified in the pre-qualification stage in an allegedly irregular manner though its experience included having provided TSR services for the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou in China.
According to a Swiss firm's official, "The tender procedure and the bidding procedure have been totally transparent and Swiss Timing has at no time tried to illegally influence the tender procedure and the bidding procedure."