The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started recording the statement of London-based businessman Ashish Patel, a key suspect in the case over alleged irregularities in the Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) contract.
The relay was organised in the UK ahead of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) by its organising committee (OC).
Two of Patel's firms — AM Films Limited and AM Car and Van Hire — had bagged the QBR contracts. While the former had installed three video screens near the Buckingham Palace, the latter had provided buses and taxis for the event held on October 29, 2009.
The CBI suspects deals, worth around Rs 2 crore, were allegedly bagged by the firms without the requisite tendering process and at exorbitant rates.
"We are in process of recording Ashish Patel's statement. It will help us have a strong case against those behind the QBR irregularities," said a CBI source. Patel's statement has allegedly been delayed. "In April this year, Patel had assured a CBI team in London that he would get his statement recorded within 15 days, but didn't turn up," the source added.
The CBI will file its chargesheet in the case soon.
Several senior OC officials who were part of its executive management committee, and members of an empowered committee, which was allegedly authorised by the former to negotiate with the QBR vendor, are under the scanner.