Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants the sports ministry to get the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to inquire into the “clear cases” of irregularities identified by the Shunglu Committee.
Singh’s latest directive not only means more trouble for Suresh Kalmadi, the former head of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, but also private companies —Indian and foreign firms — that benefited from the “dubious” deals pinpointed by the Shunglu panel set up by the prime minister soon after Games ended.
In a letter to the sports ministry last week, the Cabinet Secretariat also asked the sports ministry to conduct a detailed analysis of the report within the next four weeks.
A senior government official said “the Prime Minister — after going through the fifth report of the Shunglu panel — had directed that the CBI and ED take appropriate action on extracts of the report pertaining to the EKS (Event Knowledge Service) and other clear cases of forgery, falsification, record creation and other irregularities.
The Shunglu panel had faulted Kalmadi and his aides over award of contracts, saying there was “extreme concentration of power at the top and “conflict of interest’’ among OC officials. Kalmadi has already been raided and questioned by the CBI thrice.
The PMO directive is in line with the Shunglu panel that had recommended a simultaneous probe by the CBI and ED into the ownership of EKS and track down the flow of funds from the OC to EKS and onwards to other recipients.
“The scope of the work of the three contract awarded to EKS was dubious as there was not only overlap of activities within the three contracts awarded, but also across the parallel work undertaken by other independent agencies,” the Shunglu panel had concluded.
EKS had been quick to dispute the findings, claiming they were “inaccurate,” without any “cogent argument or evidence” and a “misinterpretation of facts.” The PMO, however, wasn’t convinced.
The committee has submitted six reports on host broadcasting, Games Village, city infrastructure, Games venues, Organising Committee and Main Report — Organisation and Conduct of the Games. The PM had in February directed a reference to the CBI on the report on host broadcasting issues, decided to revert Doordarshan director- general (Aruna Sharma) to her parent cadre and order the I&B ministry to seeks explanations from the then Prasar Bharati CEO (Lalli Singh).