New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Two years after the Oct 3-14, 2010 Commonwealth Games, that got mired in a welter of corruption charges and led to the arrests of top people associated with the organising committee, there have been no convictions so far as the prosecution has failed to establish guilt in courts of law.
While 12 cases of alleged corruption have been cleared of wrongdoing, three cases are being tried in court, two involving sacked Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, and there are several pending police complaints.
There is, however, still no definitive figure on the cost of the Games, which got India a record 101 medals and went off without a hitch despite the corruption clouds in the preparations.
Kalmadi was sacked soon after the Games ended. The CBI arrested him April 25, 2011 for allegedly misappropriating, along with his associates, over Rs.90 crore in the hiring of TSR (timing, scoring, result) equipment for the Games. He has been out on bail since January in this case.
The second case relates to the Queen's Baton Relay in 2009 in which the CBI has filed a chargesheet. The Enforcement Directorate has also filed a chargesheet alleging irregularities of Rs.5 crore in payments made to two London-based private firms AM Car and Van Hire and AM Films.
There is also a third case in court but this does not involve Kalmadi. This relates to tenders for international-level street lighting on Delhi roads that were fraudulently given to Sweska Power Tech Engineers Private Limited, causing a loss of Rs.1.42 crore to the exchequer. The four Municipal Corporation of Delhi officials named in the case are out on bail.
Some other first information reports (FIRs) have also been filed in different cases but have not yet translated into chargesheets. Separately, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner has closed 12 cases of alleged graft in the run-up to the Games -- the cost of which escalated 100 percent in seven years.
When Indian Olympic Association (IOA) bid for the Commonwealth Games in May 2003, the budget was estimated at Rs.296 crore. But by the time the Games were conducted, the cost rose to Rs.28,054 crore.
In a debate in the Lok Sabha Aug 9, 2010, then urban development minister S. Jaipal Reddy said 95.95 percent of the total expenses for the Games relate to infrastructure improvements that may remain in place long after the event.
Amid concerns over delay in completion of projects and cost over runs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formed a group of ministers headed by Jaipal Reddy to oversee the preparations and even had to personally intervene to ensure that Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the venue for the opening ceremony, was ready in time.
There were also complaints about poor arrangements at the games village on the banks of river Yamuna and the quality of flats constructed to host the visiting sportspersons.
But Kalmadi kept assuring everybody the games would be a success.
After the event, the Congress distanced itself from Kalmadi and sacked him as the secretary of the its parliamentary party.
After protests against the Delhi government headed by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the prime minister had set up a high-level committee headed by former CAG V.K. Shunglu. In its report, the panel highlighted the acts of omission and commission and lack of oversight by the government. A group of ministers headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony is examining the report.
Last month, the BJP demanded Dikshit's resignation after a trial court held as "maintainable" a complaint against Dikshit, PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan and Kalmadi for their alleged role in the CWG scam.
--Indo-Asian New Service