CBI raids Kalmadi's houses in 3 cities
The CBI raided six properties belonging to Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi in Pune, New Delhi and Mumbai on Friday. HT reports. List of charges against Kalmadi | Podcast: Govt sends a message | The London linkindia Updated: Dec 25, 2010 01:27 IST
The CBI raided six properties belonging to Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi in Pune, New Delhi and Mumbai on Friday.
The agency is investigating alleged financial irregularities related to the conduct of the Queen's Baton Relay in London last year.
Kalmadi, Congress MP from Pune, did not respond to SMSs from HT. He, however, briefly stepped out of his Delhi house after the raids and spoke to waiting reporters.
"I am not running away. I am innocent until proven guilty," he said.
"I did not take any decision alone; there were other government agencies involved."
The CBI raids were a follow-up to the arrest of former OC top officials TS Darbari, Sanjay Mohindroo and M Jeychandran. The three are facing charges of criminal conspiracy and forgery under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"It was alleged the accused, in a conspiracy (with UK-based AM Films), awarded the work of installation of video screens for the Queen's Baton Relay at inflated rates," said CBI spokesperson Vinita Thakur.
The contract was awarded, she said, "on the basis of fake quotations and without following standard procedure".
"I offered full cooperation. I had said... the OC was ready for any investigation," Kalmadi said.
In Pune, the CBI raided Kalmadi's bungalow and three other properties. Ten officials spent 11 hours at the bungalow, from which they seized files and other papers. CBI sources said they also seized a hard disk and documents.
CBI teams also raided the Kalmadi-owned Sai Service car showroom and a petrol pump, and his farmhouse.
A third team raided the residence of Kalmadi's personal secretary, Manoj Bhore. Bhore, who has been with Kalmadi for almost a decade, looks after his work in Pune.
In Mumbai, the CBI raided Kalmadi's flat in Worli. The raid began at 8am and lasted an hour.
Kalmadi's brother, Mukesh, stays in the 14th-floor flat with his family. The CBI sources said the team examined Mukesh's bank account details and took copies of some documents.
The Opposition wasn't convinced about the raids. Leader of the opposition in Raya Sabha Arun Jaitley said: "One difficulty with belated raids is that they are covered in the media but nothing is ever recovered."