New Delhi: While common citizens kept trying to get tickets of the opening and closing ceremonies of Commonwealth Games, most of these were allegedly diverted from the counters to business clubs at a fraction of cost, on the instructions of Suresh Kalmadi, sacked organising committee Chairman.

The findings have surfaced in the preliminary probe by the CBI into the ticket sales of Commonwealth Games. The scam resulted in over Rs 70 crore loss to the exchequer with Rs 2.5 crore loss from individual instructions of Kalmadi alone, agency sources said.

The agency found that Suresh Kalmadi allegedly instructed the authorities to pass on over 220 tickets of the opening and over 330 tickets of closing ceremony--each costing Rs 50,000-- to a corporate club at one-tenth the denomination causing a loss of Rs 2.5 crore, they said.

The CBI's preliminary investigation shows that Secretary General Lalit Bhanot and Director Monica Jolly in collusion with Kalmadi allegedly held back tickets for opening and closing ceremony from general public and instead passed them as complimentary tickets.

This continued even after objection from the official ticketing partner IRCTC. Sources said Jolly despite objections directed to print more of complimentary tickets and prevented them to be sold to general public.

The agency found even though general public kept searching for tickets, most of the tickets remained unsold during the sporting extravaganza, sources said.

(Agencies)