35 consultants hired by CWG panel under CBI scanner
The CBI has put 35 people hired by the Organising Committee for the Commonwealth Games 2010 under scanner. Abhishek Sharan reports.delhi Updated: Feb 14, 2011 00:22 IST
The CBI has put 35 people hired by the Organising Committee for the Commonwealth Games 2010 under scanner. This includes Shashi Tharoor, as consultants/advisors for different Functional Areas (FA) in the run- up to the sporting event.
The probe agency recently acquired from the OC list on the tenure terms, fees, and performance indicators of these consultants. “We suspect that a majority of these consultants were appointed by the OC in an arbitrary manner. A substantial amount, over several crore, was paid to them over a period of between four months to three years. The list showed that none of them submitted monthly report,” said a CBI source, not authorised to talk to the media.
The appointments were made by OC’s former chairman Suresh Kalmadi along with Lalit Bhanot as its then secretary general.
When contacted, a senior OC official confirmed, “As demanded by the CBI, and Shunglu committee, the OC gave complete details on the appointment and work details to them.”
While Bhanot refused to comment on the issue, Kalmadi could not be contacted despite several attempts.
Most consultants confirmed their stints with the OC. An advisor, who had been attached with the Security FA, said, “I was involved in the security details every day, I did submit a report at the end of games, not monthly reports.”
Tharoor, “consultant for Community Engagement”, however, denied his association with the OC.
“My limited paid service was confined to the Commonwealth Youth Games (Pune, 2008) and relates to a period when I was an independent consultant living abroad…I have neither sought nor received any remuneration whatsoever for any assistance rendered to the Commonwealth Games following my return to India and my election as an MP,” the former MoS said to specific HT queries through email.
But according to OC documents, Tharoor on July 6, 2009, had received a payment of “$ 26, 629” — after $ 3,371 was deducted as tax — from the OC as his “consultancy fee.”