Senior Delhi Games officials suspended over corruption

by Amlan Chakraborty | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 5 August 2010 17:45 GMT

* Senior officials suspended

* Financial irregularities in Baton Relay

NEW DELHI, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Three senior Delhi Commonwealth Games officials have been suspended over financial irregularities and the case has been handed to the government's financial anti-corruption watchdog, organisers said on Thursday.

Joint Director Generals T.S. Darbari and M. Jeyachandran, and Deputy Director General Sanjay Mohindroo were suspended after a committee submitted its report on charges of corruption during last year's Queen's Baton Relay launch in London.

"The executive board of the organising committee today decided to suspend T.S. Darbari and Sanjay Mohindroo, who were responsible for the conduct of the Queen's Baton Relay in London. The case is now being forwarded to the Enforcement Directorate," Organising Committee (OC) spokesman Lalit Bhanot told reporters.

"The board also felt that M. Jeyachandran, who was in charge of finance and account, also needs to be punished and suspended him as well. He has not been heard and has appealed against the charges. He will present his case tomorrow but stands suspended till he comes clean."

Mohindroo, who was not available for comment, is no longer on the OC payroll. Darbari and Jeyachandran have denied any wrongdoing.

OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi formed a three-member panel on Tuesday to look into charges of financial irregularities during the Queen's Baton Relay.

Kalmadi's decision came after the Sports Ministry wrote a letter asking him to sack Darbari and Mohindroo.

Corruption charges are swirling around the Oct. 3-14 Games with the Central Vigilance Commission, the government's anti-corruption watchdog, identifying 16projects where financial irregularities are suspected.

CONSTRUCTION WORK

The OC, however, has distanced itself from the allegations, pointing out that construction work was being done by government agencies while its role was confined to conducting the Games.

The executive board meeting also decided to terminate the contract of the Games's marketing agent, saying the firm had under-performed.

Commonwealth Games Treasurer Anil Khanna resigned on Thursday following a contract row, prompting organisers to bring back A K Mattoo, who had quit in January in "disgust".

"The executive board of the organising committee (OC) has accepted Khanna's resignation and with just six weeks left before the athletes start arriving, we requested Mr Mattoo to take charge and we are happy he agreed," Bhanot said.

Khanna quit after media reports claimed an Australian firm won the contract to lay tennis courts for the Games because his son headed its Indian arm.

"The allegations hurt me. I have a clear conscience and I don't want to be seen anywhere near corruption. So I have submit my resignation for the peace of my family and myself," said Khanna, who is also the All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary general.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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