Kalmadi aide Bhanot arrested

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 25 2011, 04:58am hrs
The heat from the Commonwealth Games probe reached Suresh Kalmadis doorstep on Wednesday as the CBI arrested his closest confidant Lalit Bhanot, former secretary general of the Games Organising Committee (OC), and OC director Gen VK Verma in connection with alleged irregularities in the Rs 107-crore deal with a Switzerland-based maker of sports timing equipment.

The CBI has prima facie established that the OC gave the contract to Swiss Timing without considering the bids by other firms. A case was registered against Bhanot and Verma in November 2010, and both men were subsequently questioned on several occasions. Bhanot and Verma were called in for questioning again on Wednesday, and placed under arrest by evening. Their arrest came a day after the CBI arrested K U K Reddy, a former additional director general of finance and accounts in the OC, and Praveen Bakshi, a supplier of Games overlays.

More arrests were likely soon, sources in the CBI said.

Bhanot and Verma, a CBI official said, had abused their official position and entered into criminal conspiracy with the Swiss firm and other unknown persons to cheat the government in acquisition of the Timing, Scoring and ResultSystem. They will be produced in court on Thursday.