The Parliament’s audit watchdog may give a clean chit to former Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi over allegations of financial misappropriation during the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG).
The former chairman of the CWG organising committee is facing graft charges over alleged financial irregularities, and was even jailed for 10 months. Kalmadi was arrested in 2011 with two of his aides on charges of corruption and criminal conspiracy in the scam that cost the exchequer Rs 90 crore. The Congress suspended his membership following the arrest.
A clean chit from the Parliament’s audit body would bring at least partial relief to the beleaguered ex-MP of Pune who won the constituency three times.
Sources in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament told Hindustan Times that some members “strongly feel” that Kalmadi, who was the president of the Indian Olympic Association at the time, was not at fault and had been “victimised”.
“The PAC had formed a sub-committee on the CWG report which will finalise its report on Tuesday. Many members, cutting across political lines, in the committee feel Kalmadi had been a victim of circumstances,” said a member of the Parliament.
“In some cases, when bureaucrats came to depose before the panel, they were asked if they had been in Delhi during the games. And if they said no, many members didn’t feel like asking them questions,” said an opposition MP.
Kalmadi is primarily accused of awarding a contract to Swiss Timing Omega at an inflated value in spite of there being a lower bid from Spanish firm MSL.