CWG scam: HC grants bail to Kalmadi, Verma

New Delhi: After remaining behind bars for nearly nine months, former CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi was today granted bail by the Delhi High Court in a 2010 Games-related graft case. The court also granted bail to OC former director general and co-accused V K Verma.

While granting them bail, Justice Mukta Gupta directed them to furnish before the trial court a bail bond of Rs 5 lakh each and two sureties of the like amount. Justice Gupta said, "There is no allegation that the petitioners are likely to flee from justice and will not be available for the trial."

The court directed them not to leave the country without prior permission of the trial court.

Kalmadi was arrested by the CBI on April 25, 2011 while Verma was arrested on February 23, 2011 in the Timing, Scoring and Result system scam.

While allowing their plea for bail which cited Supreme Court`s judgement in 2G spectrum case wherein it was held that "bail is rule and jail is exception", Justice Gupta said, "There is no allegation of money trail to the petitioners. There is also no evidence that the petitioner is threatening witnesses or interfering with evidence during investigation or trial."

Kalmadi had moved the High Court in January, seeking bail citing the Supreme Court`s judgement in 2G spectrum case and said it has been held that "bail is rule and jail is exception".

Kalmadi said only a charge sheet has been filed against him and there was remote possibility of commencement of the trial in the near future.

The CBI had, however, opposed the bail pleas of Kalmadi and Verma and referred to the trial court`s January 4 order submitting that it has been decided that the case would be heard on a day-to-day basis soon after scrutiny of documents. It had also said that there was nothing new in the "bail-is-rule-and-jail-an-exception" remark of the apex court while granting bail in the 2G case.

Kalmadi, Verma and nine others have been accused of allegedly awarding a contract to a Swiss firm to install a Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system for the Games at an exorbitant rate, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the state exchequer.

The CBI had in its charge sheet filed in May 2011 described Kalmadi as main accused in the case. Besides Kalmadi and Verma, others who are accused in the TSR scam include OC former Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, OC Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, Joint Director General (Sports) A S V Prasad, Treasurer M Jayachandran, Managing Director A K Reddy of Hyderabad-based AKR Constructions and promoters A K Madan and P D Arya of a Faridabad-based firm Gem International.

Two companies AKR Constructions and Swiss Timing are also accused in the case.

The Special CBI court had on May 23, 2011 given a go-ahead for their prosecution under various provisions of the IPC dealing with criminal conspiracy, forging documents and using fake documents as genuine and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The contract was illegally awarded to Swiss Timing which further sub-contracted it to Gem International. Gem International then sub-let the TSR work to AKR Constructions.