Committees said Swiss Timing was best: Kalmadi

New Delhi: Sacked CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, facing prosecution in a games-related graft case, today told a Delhi court that various panels set up to procure equipments for the mega sporting event had said that Swiss Timing has the "best and reliable" Timing, Scoring and Result system.

Lok Sabha MP Kalmadi and 10 others have been chargesheeted by the CBI under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and and the Prevention of Corruption Act for "illegally" awarding the contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 games to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.

Advancing the arguments on framing of charges, Kalmadi`s lawyer said TSR is a critical aspect of the game to facilitate wide range of functions and the various committees, consisting of senior government officials and members of the national and international federations, had held Swiss Timing as the best.

"There was a recommendation by members of international federation in a meeting held in March 2009 that Swiss Timing had the best and reliable system," senior advocate H H Ponda, appearing for Kalmadi, told Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh.

Ponda said after the names of firms were recommended for the TSR system, various committees were constituted and they took the decision after going through all the details.

He said neither Kalmadi nor the Games Organising Committee (OC) was involved in the process of procurement of equipments. "I was neither in acceptance nor in procurement and even the OC was not there in the procurement," Ponda said adding that OC only gave recommendations and planning for the games.

The arguments remained inconclusive today and would continue on May 26.
Opposing the framing of charges against him, Kalmadi had earlier told the court that his job was to look after the "sports affairs" and not the "technical" matters.

His counsel had argued that procurement of equipments for the Games was to be done by the government agencies and venue owners and the OC was not responsible for it.

The CBI had earlier told the court that Kalmadi and other co-accused had allegedly decided in advance to award the contract to Swiss Timing even before it had made the bid.

The agency had said that besides Kalmadi, other co-accused former OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, Director General V K Verma and Joint Director General (Sports) A S V Prasad were "pressurising" that contract should be given to Swiss Timing.

The prosecutor had also argued that two bids were received for TSR contract from Swiss Timing and MSL Spain and the same were opened on November 4, 2009 but Kalmadi and Verma had on October 12, 2009 announced in a meeting that the contract would be awarded to Swiss Timing.

Besides Kalmadi, Bhanot, Verma and Prasad, other accused in the case are OC Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal and Treasurer M Jayachandran. They are no more associated with the sporting body.

Promoters of two construction companies – P D Arya and A K Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and A K Reddy and his firm AKR Constructions are also accused in the case. Besides, the two firms, Swiss Timing Omega – the Swiss firm which was awarded the contract allegedly at exorbitant rates – and AKR Constructions are also accused in the case.