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HC grants bail to Kalmadis aide in CWG scam case

New Delhi: T S Darbari, a close associate of the CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, was on Friday granted bail by the Delhi High Court after CBI failed to file the chargesheet against him for alleged bunglings in the Queen Baton`s relay in London in 2009.

Darbari, former OC Joint Director General who is in Tihar jail since his arrest on November 15, got the reprieve after the CBI prosecutor informed the court that the agency cannot file the chargesheet within the stipulated 60 days perscribed under the CrPC since investigations have not been completed.

"Darbari is admitted on bail on furnishing of a personal and surety bond of Rs 50,000 each," Justice Hima Kohli said.

According to the CrPC, an undertrial becomes entitled for the grant of bail if the investigating agency fails to file a chargesheet within two months of his arrest.

However, the hearing on the bail plea of co-accused M Jayachandran, joint director (finance) in the OC, was deferred to January 17.

CBI has time till January 20 to file its chargesheet against Jayachandran, who was arrested on November 21, failing which he too would have to be released on bail.

Earlier, during the hearing, the accused took the plea that they were not empowered to take decisions in the QBR event at London as all major decisions were taken by the OC.

A lower court, however, had dismissed their bail pleas saying corruption in awarding the contracts by the OC has tarnished the image of the country and that the probe in the case was at the nascent stage.

It had said that they (accused) being influential can tamper with the ongoing probe.

Third accused Sanjay Mahendroo, who has, so far not moved his bail application, would also be released on the ground of parity as he is also in jail for last 60 days. He was arrested along with Darbari.

The accused are facing charges of causing losses to the exchequer in award of contract to the tune of Rs 1.55 crore with regard to the QBR on October 29, 2009 in London before the mega sporting event.

CBI had registered two cases in connection with contracts awarded to London-based A M Films and AM Car and Van Hire Limited at exorbitant rates.

The agency had conducted searches at their premises besides the OC headquarters here.

The first case was registered by the CBI under different Sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act in relation to the award of contract to AM car and Van Hire Limited.

The CBI has questioned Kalmadi and carried out searches at his premises in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.

The agency has named Darbari, Mahendroo, Jayachandran, OC Director Raj Singh, Director of transport firm Ashish Patel, and other unknown persons under sections 468 (forgery of court records and public documents), 471 (using forged documents as genuine), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The second case involves London-based A M Films and the probe agency had named Patel, Mahendroo, Darbari and others under sections 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The accused are already facing charges of violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and have been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate.

The ED had registered its first case under FEMA in CWG after British authorities referred to the Indian High Commission a matter regarding A M Films, a little-known company, to which a huge sum of money was transferred through the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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