In July 2008, over a year before the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) invited bids for its Timing, Scoring & Results (TSR) system contract, its former secretary general Lalit Bhanot had allegedly recommended that Swiss firm Swiss Timing-Omega, which bagged the contract in March 2010, was the right choice.
“The OC had invited competitive bids for the TSR contract on October 1, 2009, while the bidding process had ended at 3 pm, November 4, the same year. But Bhanot had as early as on July 22, 2008, informed an OC committee that Swiss Timing had a monopoly in providing TSR services. On September 26, 2008, Bhanot recommended Swiss Timing as the TSR provider to OC’s Centralised Coordination Commission,” said a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) source, who is not authorised to talk.
Bhanot was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
“This indicated that these accused OC officials had made up their mind to favour the beneficiary firm much before the bids were opened,” said the source. On January 6, Bhanot allegedly wrote to the then Sports ministry’s joint director allegedly “justifying the short-listing” of the Swiss firm, said the source.
“The sports ministry bureaucrat in turn asked him to give “opportunity to other suppliers” by issuing an Expression of Interest, a preliminary tendering process, said the source. The contract was given to the Swiss firm by allegedly overlooking the more reasonable bid of Rs48 crore made by Spanish firm, MSL-Spain, according to the source.
Two turn witness
The CBI has recorded statements of two former OC officials in the TSR case before a court under section 164 of the IPC.