New Delhi/ Pune: A slipper was thrown at former chief of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi in the CBI court where he was being produced for hearing. The man, Kapil Thakur, who threw the slipper, was arrested by the police.

Kalmadi, who was arrested on Monday for alleged financial irregularities in the granting of contracts for the October 2010 sporting event, stayed at the CBI lockup at the CGO complex in Lodhi Road in central Delhi.

“He was kept in an air conditioned lockup room at CBI headquarters which has all the basic facilities. He had a comfortable sleep on Monday night and just asked for some medicines which were provided,” a CBI official said.

“Kalmadi did not ask for anything but a newspaper. He started the day reading the newspaper,' the official said.
 
Kalmadi, an MP from Pune, was arrested after nearly daylong questioning by the CBI at its headquarters here for alleged criminal conspiracy and overspending of public money in holding the Oct 3-14 Games last year.

Kalmadi's fall from grace

Meanwhile in Pune, agitated Congress activists belonging to the anti-Kalmadi faction has blackened the face of the tainted MP in a poster before tearing it down in the wake of his arrest and suspension from the party.

The ransacking of Kalmadi's cabin in the Congress Bhavan by his own party men after his arrest in the Commonwealth Games scam and subsequent suspension on Monday night, symbolised the fall from grace of one of the most high profile MPs, who represented the city thrice in the Lok Sabha, apart from serving four Rajya Sabha terms in the last three decades.

"It was a spontaneous reaction of Congress workers in the city staging a protest against a corrupt person suspended by the party which has zero tolerance for corruption in public life," said MLC Mohan Joshi, a prominent local Congress leader.

Joshi has been locked in a long political rivalry with Kalmadi after failing to get a party ticket to contest the Lok Sabha seat in 2004 and 2009.

Opposition parties including the BJP, Shiv Sena and MNS too staged protest demonstrations condemning Kalmadi for "tarnishing" the image of Pune which he represented in Parliament.

Although the anti-Kalmadi elements geared up to fill in the vacuum created by his exit from civic politics over which he had a powerful grip, a division among the ranks seemed imminent with Kalmadi loyalists, though confused, holding their ground with a feeble defence of their leader in the dock.

Kalmadi sent to eight days of police custody

It is eight more nights in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lockup for India's high profile MP and sports administrator Suresh Kalmadi with a court on Tuesday sending him to police custody till May 4 on charges of irregularities in awarding contracts for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Hours after Kalmadi was sent to police custody, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) announced that its senior vice president Vijay Kumar Malhotra will be the ‘officiating president’ in the ‘long absence of president.’ Kalmadi was heading the association for 15 years.

However, Kalmadi will not be eligible to seek bail before 90 days with the CBI on Tuesday adding charges of forgery in its FIR against him and two other CWG officials arrested Monday.

While sending him to police custody, Additional District Judge Talwant Singh said Kalmadi ‘would be medically examined after every 48 hours and could also meet relatives and counsellors every day for 40 minutes’.

According to the CBI, Kalmadi has been arrested for buying TSR (timing scoring and result) equipment from a Swiss firm, Swiss Timing, at inflated price of Rs.141 crore for the event.

Also arrested for alleged criminal conspiracy and overspending of public money in holding the Oct 3-14 Games last year were two more officials of the Games panel, Sujit Lal and ASV Prasad.

The CBI in its FIR on Tuesday filed additional charges of forgery under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the three, as well as Lalit Bhanot, a former secretary general of CWG, and VK Verma, who was its director general. They were also booked them for criminal conspiracy and cheating.

Bhanot and Verma, arrested Feb 23, completed their 60 days in custody and were eligible to apply for bail. However, with the slapping of the new charges, Kalmadi will not be eligible to seek bail before 90 days, while Bhanot and Verma will now have to wait for another 30 days.
The CBI has 90 days to file the chargesheet.

The three additional charges added in the FIR, originally filed in November last year, include sections 467 (Forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the Indian Penal Code.

Addressing the court, packed with people who had to be told to move back so that proceedings could begin, the public prosecutor sought 14 days police custody and said Kalmadi's behaviour was "evasive and non-cooperative".

He was not "revealing the true facts and circumstances of the criminal conspiracy which led to award of TSR contract to swiss timing in a wrongful manner", VK Sharma said.

The CBI said custody was required as ‘voluminous incriminating documents’ had been recovered.

It was a dramatic fall from the echelons of power for Kalmadi, who was also the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president and the man trusted with the holding of the prestigious Commonwealth Games.

JPN/Agencies