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Lalit Bhanot, Verma Questioned, Later Arrested By CBI

New Delhi, Feb 23: Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot was on Wednesday arrested after being  questioned by the CBI in connection with alleged irregularities in a Rs 107 crore contract that
PTI February 23, 2011 18:58 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Feb 23: Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot was on Wednesday arrested after being  questioned by the CBI in connection with alleged irregularities in a Rs 107 crore contract that had been awarded to a Swiss time-keeping company.

Bhanot has been booked by the probe agency under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC and various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, along with Switzerland-based firm Swiss Timing Ltd and other unknown persons.

Sources said Bhanot reached at the CBI Headquarters this morning and he was questioned in connection with details relating to the contract given to the Swiss time-keeping company. He was later put under arrest.

Last year, the agency had carried out searches at 11 premises in the National Capital Region, including residences of Bhanot and another CWG official V K Verma. Premises of certain other officials including R K Sacheti, Joint Director General (Coordination) and Sangeeta Welingkar, member of the Games Image and Look Group were also searched.

The agency has claimed that "voluminous incriminating" documents were recovered during the searches.

"It is alleged that the accused officers abused their official position and entered into criminal conspiracy with a Switzerland-based company and other unknown persons to cheat the government in awarding contract to the said company for acquiring Timing, Scoring and Result (TSR) System at exorbitant rates of Rs 107 crore thereby causing huge loss to the government," a CBI spokesperson had said.

He had said the expression of interest (EOI) was published announcing that only the Swiss firm met the laid down criteria.

"Subsequently, request for proposal (RFP) was issued on October 1, 2009. This was surreptitiously amended on October 4, 2009, thereby making the bids even more restrictive. In response to RFP, two bids were received. However, a Spain-based firm was allegedly wrongfully eliminated at the pre-qualification bid stage," the spokesman had said.

Both Bhanot and Verma had said all decisions were cleared by the "entire Executive Board" of the OC.

"Whatever decisions had been taken, they had been taken jointly by the Board and it included government members as well as other members from various federations," Bhanot had clarified.