ED names Kalmadi in QBR case now

Suresh Kalmadi

The trouble for former Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi is far from over as the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday filed a complaint against him and five others for alleged contraventions of FEMA rules during the 2009 Queen's Baton Relay in the UK.

The agency has alleged that Kalmadi and his associates were responsible for foreign exchange contraventions to the tune of about Rs 4.8 crore.

The agency did not name former joint director T S Darbari, as it said that they have not found evidence against him for the FEMA violation.

The ED has named five other officials, including former secretary general Lalit Bhanot, director general V K Verma, deputy director general Sanjay Mahindroo, joint director general (accounts and finance) M Jaychandran and A K Mattoo.

Kalmadi, according to agency's complaint, has been named for providing his signatures in his "individual capacity" and allowing "unauthorised payments" of more than Rs 8 crore for the conduct of the QBR and also side-stepping five other service providers in favour of AM Films and Cars Limited.

The agency has alleged that Kalmadi and other OC officials inflated the cost of the contract and made payments in foreign exchange above the authorised limit sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India. The alleged OC officials then tried to cover up their act by forging the e-mails and when the matter went out of hand, Kalmadi sacked senior OC officials, including Darbari.

The ED complaint also mentions how the OC violated its own charter for the event and hired luxury vehicles like Mercedes S-class, BMW-7 series thereby violating the authorisation for hiring only "mid-size" cars for ferrying guests, athletes and dignitaries.

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