Amid all the applause for the Commonwealth Games, many are curious about the status of corruption charges against Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi.
The Centre and the Sports Ministry cannot remain silent on the issue for long as two Public Interest Litigations seeking a probe into a “R70,000-crore” scam is coming up before the Delhi High Court on October 20, and they will have to take a stand then.
Both the PILs before the Delhi HC were filed before the Games and a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan had deferred the hearing till the end of the Games. The PILs primarily seek a CBI probe into "corruption" in the management of the Commonwealth Games and sacking of Kalmadi.
Filed by lawyer Ajay K Agrawal, the PIL seeks an independent audit of the works and sealing of records pertaining to tenders, work measurements and expenses above R1 lakh. Besides Kalmadi, the petition has also made the cabinet secretary, youth affairs and sports secretary and the Central Bureau of Investigation the respondents.
The petition demanded an audit of the works by an independent agency. It said the scale of corruption, the status of those involved and their political linkages called for intervention by the highest judicial body in the land.
The Supreme Court has already taken a serious view of corruption in the run up to the Games.
Shocked at the collapse of a newly built pedestrian bridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the apex court said: “In this country, payments are made without work being done. A newly constructed bridge collapsed like a pack of cards. R70,000 crore are involved (in the Games). There is rampant corruption in the country. We cannot shut our eyes,” the Supreme Court had said.
“Till October 15, Commonwealth Games is a public purpose, thereafter, everything will become private purpose,” the court had added.