Top Commonwealth Games Organising Committee officials tried to play down the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids that took place at 11 places in New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida.
An FIR has been filed against secretary-general Lalit Bhanot and director-general VK Verma in connection with alleged irregularities in a R107-crore-deal struck with Swiss Timings Ltd for the result update system (TSR). The agency charged the two with criminal conspiracy, misuse of official post, cheating and forgery.
Earlier, the CBI had registered two FIRs to get all the documents. On discovering the loopholes, it lodged the third FIR on Tuesday.
Bhanot's residence in north-east Delhi was raided by a team of six CBI officials on Tuesday. Even the three vehicles belonging to the Bhanots were searched. The boot, dashboard and seats were extensively searched for possible clues even as neighbours kept a curious eye from outside. But Bhanot played down the incident.
“They were not exactly raids. They were searches. Though the CBI officials did not tell me as to why they were conducting these raids and searches, I am sure we will come out clean.”
The residence of Verma, who is also the president of the Badminton Association of India, (BAI), was also raided.
But he seemed unfazed. “I heard that my house and office are being searched. Let them (CBI) carry on with the procedure. I am not worried at all,” Verma told HT from Malaysia.
Verma said that the commercial bid for the result update system had first gone to the ministry for approval.
“We had sent the bid to the ministry. It was only after their consent did we go ahead. Even after the ministry's approval, we had a three-member executive committee which went through the documents. Everything had been done with thoroughness and there is absolutely no loophole whatsoever. The timings and scoring part is of utmost importance at an event like the Commonwealth Games. We made sure that everything was transparent and perfect,” Verma added.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also questioned the BAI president last month for his alleged role in the financial irregularities in the Queen’s Baton Relay held in London in 2009.