The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has been probing alleged irregularities in a contract worth £1.46 lakh given to London-based AM Films by the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games, has sent a formal request to the United Kingdom, seeking details on financial transactions related to the deal and the firm.
The CBI’s Letters Rogatory (LR), formal communication sent in writing by the court in which the case is pending to a foreign court requesting the testimony of a witness residing within its jurisdiction, also contains over 50 queries addressed to AM Films head Ashish Patel about the firm’s financial details, including its shareholding structure and areas of activity, said a CBI source, who didn’t wish to be named, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The deal with AM Films involved installation of three giant video screens near the Buckingham Palace in London, the venue of the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) organised by the OC on October 29, 2009. The CBI had, last November, lodged its second First Information Report (FIR) — as part of its probe into irregularities in the conduct of CWG — alleging that the video screens were installed at exorbitant rates on the basis of fake quotations and without following standard procedure.
“We have sought details from AM Film’s Ashish Patel as to who from the Organising Committee authorised the payment made to him in the CWG deal, its timing, and its mode,” said the source.
He added, “We have sought details about who (from the OC) played major roles in the deal.”
According to the official, OC’s former chairman Suresh Kalmadi had allegedly authorised the deal on October 23, 2009, without the approval of OC’s executive board and the payment was made to the British firm within the next two days. “The authorisation of the deal and the payment had occurred without following the norms,” said the source.
A few OC officials had then sought to allegedly justify the contract in view of the short time available and the risk of the cancellation of the QBR event and that the lowest bid offer was of the AM Films.