TS Darbari, ousted joint director general of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, has sought to clear his name from being associated with charges of financial impropriety regarding an event in London, saying he was not involved in any way in selecting the vendors.
Raising the matter pertaining to hiring of cars, video walls and other equipment during the Queen's Baton Relay function in London Oct 29 last year, Darbari also sought the nod for legal action against the media from the chief executive (CEO) of the Organising Committee.
"A vicious, malafide, motivated media campaign has been launched targeting me personally for certain alleged acts of financial impropriety in connection with the Queen's Baton Relay launch event organised in London," says his letter to Jarnail Singh.
"I take this opportunity to place on record certain material facts which would show that I have not been a party to any of the alleged acts of omission or commission," says the letter, a copy of which was obtained by IANS, along with 11 pages of annexures.
The letter makes the following points regarding the event that was attended by the Queen of England and President Pratibha Patil, among other dignitaries:
- He was not a signatory to any decision taken for hiring of cars, video boards and other items for the event from M/S AM Car and Van Hire and M/S/ AM Films
- The entire matter relating to engagement of vendors, passing of bills and release of payments was handled by a committee constituted for the purpose
- The committee comprised three joint director generals: M Jeychandren for finance and accounts, Sanjay Mohindroo for marketing and Sudhir Verma for communications
- The e-mail in which the name of M/S AM Car and Van was purportedly recommended by the high commission in London was not sent to him directly, but forwarded by Mahindroo.
Darbari, Mohindroo and Jeychandren were suspended by the Organising Committee Thursday, while treasurer Anil Khanna resigned after allegations that his son's firm secured the contract to lay synthetic courts at a tennis stadium here, earmarked for the Games.
The said e-mail was purportedly dispatched by one Raju Sebastian of the high commission in London to Raj Singh, director with the Organising Committee, on Sep 16, and was then forwarded by Mohindroo to Darbari Oct 13.
The letter also seeks to detail the sequence of events that led to the selection of the vendors for equipment, including a request by the authorities in London for some more requirements at a notice of just six days, threatening to cancel the event otherwise.
Accordingly, the Mayor of London's office was requested to help identify the vendors and one among them was selected by the chairman of the committee, based on the suggestion by the selection panel, says Darbari's letter, based on his recollections.
"Despite the continuous nature of vindictive, personalised campaign against me, I have full faith in the management that I will not be made scapegoat," says the letter, and assures that the intention is not to go public with his defence.
"I have the fundamental right and duty to protect my honour and reputation, which as has been unnecessarily maligned by TV channels and the media. I will seek your permission to take legal recourse at an appropriate time, if required."
Jarnail Singh heads the three-member panel that has been appointed to inquire into the charges of wrongdoing in OC. The other two are Gurjyot Kaur, chief vigilance officer, and G.C. Chaturvedi, special director general (finance and accounts).