The Organising Committee (OC) director general VK Verma, who is in custody of the CBI after his arrest on Wednesday, allegedly broke down several times when grilled over his role in awarding to a Swiss company the Rs107 crore contract for supplying the timing, scoring and result (TSR) system for the conduct of the Commonwealth Games.
The Swiss firm had allegedly charged the OC more than twice the amount sought by a Spanish competitor. “Whenever Verma was confronted with details about how and why he played a critical role in awarding the TSR contract to the Swiss company, by overlooking the reasonable bid of another company, he broke into tears and cried,” said a CBI source while requesting anonymity.
He said, “His crying sessions were frequent and pretty irritating, disrupting his interrogation. We had to suspend his grilling a few times.” The source added, “Verma might be trying to hoodwink us.”
Verma and OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot, also arrested in connection with the same case on Wednesday, have till now allegedly admitted that irregularities were committed in the TSR deal but were careful to pass the buck. “Both Verma and Bhanot have blamed a former top OC official into pressurising them to commit irregularities that favoured the Swiss company,” said the source.
According to the source, Bhanot allegedly said that he had been provided typewritten documents on which he was made to sign under duress by the former top OC official.
CBI TO FILE TWO MORE FIRs IN CWG SCAM
The CBI would soon file two more first information reports (FIRs) as part of its probe into alleged irregularities related to the catering and merchandise contracts awarded by the OC, according to another agency source. The CBI suspects that allegedly “deliberate, inexplicable delay” in awarding the catering contract to an Australian firm had escalated the cost by over Rs14 crore.