India is likely to seek extradition of the director of a little known car rental firm from the United Kingdom, for his alleged role in the financial irregularities during the Queen's Baton Relay, ahead of the Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi last year.
A team of CBI officials had recently questioned Ashish Patel, Director of UK based AM Car and Van Hire Ltd, in London, on alleged bunglings and his role in the case.
The CBI officials' trip to London was very useful and very high on evidence. They questioned Patel twice and asked him to give a statement to Scotland Yard for which he sought two weeks time. The CBI will seek his extradition if he does not cooperate, a CBI official said.
Before questioning Patel, CBI took permission of UK's Serious Fraud Office. The visit was undertaken after issuance of Letters Rogatory (LRs), which act as an official request to seek assistance in investigations being carried out by CBI. CBI has also made a plea to the SFO for registering a case against the car rental firm for alleged over rating.
The probe agency had been suspicious about Patel's role in executing the deal with the CWG Organising Committee. CBI is also investigating Patel's business and his associates in UK. CBI officials said the agency had gathered evidence that Patel manipulated certain documents to get undue benefits from the deal, with the help of certain OC officials.
"It is alleged that in relation to the QBR held on October 29, 2009, the OC awarded the work of transportation to the AM Car and Van Hire Ltd at exorbitantly high rates without following the standard tender process," the FIR registered by the CBI in the case said. The work was given to the firm on the false promise made by it that it was on the panel of the Indian High Commission, London.
CBI has registered a total of nine FIRs in different cases related to alleged corruption in the run up to the mega sporting extravaganza held in New Delhi between October 3-14 last year.