The CBI made its most high-profile arrests relating to the Commonwealth Games scam, nabbing its former Organising Committee (OC) secretary general Lalit Bhanot and director general VK Verma on Wednesday.
The CBI earlier arrested four OC officials and two suppliers for alleged corruption in the conduct of the Games in October. Bhanot and Verma were arrested for cheating and criminal conspiracy for their alleged involvement in irregularities over procurement of the Timing, Scoring and Result (TSR) system from a Swiss company for R107 crore - more than twice the amount sought by a Spanish competitor.
The contract was given to Swiss Timing Limited by OC officials, including Bhanot and Verma, on March 22, 2010 by allegedly overlooking the more reasonable bid of R48 crore made by Spanish company, MSL, said a CBI official, who didn't want to be named. CBI spokesperson Bineeta Thakur said, "We had earlier registered a case on the basis of allegations that certain OC officials had entered into a criminal conspiracy with representatives of a Swiss company and awarded the contact for the TSR system to it at an exorbitant price of R107 crore in a premeditated manner, thereby causing a huge loss to the government.”
When the OC began the tendering process for the TSR contract in March 2009, Bhanot had allegedly said only the Swiss company met all the criteria for providing the TSR equipment. “This clearly indicates that the deal was premeditated,” said another agency official.