Days after Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi brandished an email from the Indian High Commission in London as proof that the mission had recommended UK-based firm AM Cars and Vans, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) questioned the authenticity of the communication.
The OC, for its part, said what transpired between it and the mission was well documented and a probe panel has been formed to look into the ‘facts’. Kalmadi also met external affairs minister S.M. Krishna, who apprised him of the situation.
AM Cars and Vans was paid £247,000 by the OC for services rendered during the Queen’s Baton Relay in London last year. Kalmadi’s copy of the email — from Raju Sebastian, a junior officer in the mission — ends with: “The approved vendors for transport are AM Car & Van and The Chauffer Company.”
But the MEA sources said this line was nowhere in its documents. Rather, the “letter just informed the OC of rates charged by vendors available with the high commission records”.
“The authenticity of the letters is in doubt. It is alleged the contract was given to AM Cars and Vans on the mission’s recommendation. This is against available facts and documents,” the sources said.
“Whatever mails we exchanged are well documented,” said Lalit Bhanot, OC secretary-general. Calls, SMSes and e-mails to Kalmadi went unanswered.