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Suresh Kalmadi barred from attending the Olympics opening ceremony

 The Delhi High Court on Wednesday barred sacked CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi from going to London to attend the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, saying that his participation could cause "embarassment" to the nation.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also prohibited Kalmadi from leaving the country till July 27.

In its order, the bench said, "From the national point of view, we have decided the matter and he should not participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. "His participation can cause embarrassment to the country," the bench said, adding, "National interest is the prime concern."

Suresh Kalmadi
Suresh Kalmadi has been ordered not to leave India before July 27, the day when the Olympics opening ceremony would be held in London. File Pic

However, the bench left it to the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF) to decide his plea for attending its meeting after reading the court's order.

Kalmadi had made a plea that being the president of Asian Athletes Association (AAA) he was invited by the IAAF.

The court passed its order on a PIL filed by lawyer Rahul Mehra seeking to restrain Kalmadi from proceeding to London for the Olympics in view of the criminal cases pending against the Congress MP in connection with the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Kalmadi is out on bail in a corruption case linked to the 2010 Commonwealth Games here.

Kalmadi had contended that the PIL was motivated and directed against him. But the PIL had submitted that he was not visiting London in his personal capacity and that he should refrain himself from attending the Olympics on moral and ethical values.

The court had on July 18 sought Kalmadi's reply on Mehra's plea for restraining him from going for the games and had asked him not to advance his slated July 26 departure for it.

On July 13, a special CBI court had allowed Kalmadi to go to London from July 26 to August 13. Mehra has objected to Kalmadi's proposed London sojourn, contending that he is going to attend the games with public money and in violation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) code of ethics.

He had sought the high court's direction to restrain hiim from visiting London on the ground that he is facing trial in a corruption case and cannot be allowed to represent the country in an international event.

The Lok Sabha MP and 10 others have been chargesheeted by CBI under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly "illegally" awarding a contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer. 

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