CWG case: No financial powers were given to me, says Bhanot

Lalit Bhanot

Former CWG Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, an accused in a games-related graft case, today told a Delhi court that no financial power was accorded to him and his work was only to coordinate with others during the 2010 mega sporting event.

Opposing framing of charges against Bhanot, his counsel Ramesh Gupta argued before Special Judge Talwant Singh that he had signed Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system contract with Swiss Timing, an accused firm in the case, because of the authority given to him; that too without taking any liability.

"His (Bhanot) job was only to coordinate with the others including various committees (set up during the games) about their availability.

"No financial power was given to the secretary general. His duty was only to inform others and also to prepare and look after the work of press releases," the counsel said referring to the powers given to OC's secretary general.

Bhanot had earlier told the court that Spanish firm MSL was not given the contract to install the TSR system despite low prices because it had submitted "forged" documents.

His counsel had alleged that CBI's investigating officer (IO) in the case was "biased" against his client.

The CBI had alleged that Kalmadi and his associates had rejected the Spanish firm MSL's much lower bid of Rs 62 crore and awarded the contract to Swiss Timing Omega, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.

Sacked CWG OC Chairman Kalmadi, Bhanot and nine others have been charge-sheeted by the CBI under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly "illegally" awarding contract to install the TSR system for the 2010 CWG to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.

Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the other nine accused in the case are OC's Director General V K Verma, Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, Joint Director General (Sports) A S V Prasad and Treasurer M Jayachandran. They are no more associated with the sporting body.

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