A CBI team, which is currently in London to probe alleged irregularities into the conduct of Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) ahead of the Commonwealth Games, has quizzed Ashish Patel over alleged irregularities related to the award of two contracts to him by the Organising Committee. Patel is the owner of two London-based firms — AM films and AM Cars & Vans.
The OC’s deal with AM Films in October 2009 was over the installation of three video screens near the Buckingham Palace, while it had awarded a contract to AM Cars & Vans for the provision of various logistics. The CBI suspects the two deals were concluded at allegedly exorbitant costs and without regular tendering process or prior approvals.
“Our team, comprising an additional director and a DIG, has examined Ashish Patel of AM Film and AM Cars over their two deals with the CWG OC to hold the QBR. We want to know who from the OC had authorised the deals and the payments,” said an agency source.
The CBI team, expected to return by early next week, went to London at the request of the UK authorities to cooperate with them in executing the two Letters Rogatory sent by it earlier.
The agency’s team will check with the UK Serious Frauds Office on whether they have initiated any probe regarding the deals too since the companies are registered there.
Bail denied to Bhanot, Verma
A special CBI court denied bail to former OC secretary-general Lalit Bhanot and its ex-director General VK Verma in the CWG scam.
The accused were arrested for indulging in corruption while awarding Rs 107-crore contract to a Swiss firm for providing logistic support for the 2010 event.
The CBI told special judge Talwant Singh that the accused played pivotal role in the OC and took decisions, which resulted in allotment of contract for TSR System to Swiss Timing in a pre-planned and pre-mediated manner at an exorbitant rate of approximately R107 crore, thereby causing huge losses to the government. The judge dismissed the bail plea of Bhanot and Verma.
Bhanot and Verma were arrested on February 23 by CBI for striking a Rs 107-crore deal with a Swiss firm in procuring the Timing, Scoring and Result System for the Games.
CBI had registered a case against the two under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.