Jailed former Delhi Games chief granted bail

An Indian court granted bail Thursday to the disgraced head of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, Suresh Kalmadi, more than eight months after he was jailed on fraud charges.

The Delhi High Court set bail at 500,000 rupees ($10,000) and Kalmadi was set to leave the capital's Tihar Jail in the next 24 hours, his lawyer Hitesh Jain said.


"We are expecting the documentation to be completed in a day or two. And we shall expect Mr. Kalmadi to walk out either by the end of the day or tomorrow," Jain told reporters

Kalmadi, known for his powerful political and sporting connections, has been in a Tihar cell since April when he was arrested for his role in awarding multi-million-dollar contracts for the Games.

Kalmadi and eight others were charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and abuse of power. The case has yet to come to trial.

Kalmadi's lawyer said bail had been granted on the grounds that police evidence presented so far "does not really show the involvement of Kalmadi in any manner".

Kalmadi's former right-hand man on the Games organising committee, V.K. Verma, was also granted bail Thursday.

The Games were meant to showcase India's status as an emerging global power, but the sporting headlines were stolen by venue delays, shoddy construction and budget overruns in which the event's cost tripled to at least $6.0 billion.

Kalmadi became a target of popular scorn as the face of the Games organisational fiasco, which embarrassed India on the world stage.

He was dismissed in January last year as head of the Games organising committee as police probed charges that organisers had manipulated tenders.

India's anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Vigilance Commission, received complaints alleging up to $1.8 billion of Games money was misused.

Kalmadi was also removed from his post as president of the Indian Olympic Association.

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