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Suresh Kalmadi may face criminal charges in CYG case

CM asks for case to be filed in 15 days, if the ex-IOA chief fails to give proof of how he spent state funds in the Commonwealth Youth Games

More trouble is in store for MP Suresh Kalmadi. He is likely to face a criminal case against the irregularities in spending public funds for organising the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) in Pune in October 2008.

Suresh Kalmadi Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has given a conditional go-ahead for filing a criminal case against Suresh Kalmadi
Suresh Kalmadi and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has given a conditional go-ahead for filing a criminal case against Suresh Kalmadi

According to highly-placed sources, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has given a conditional go-ahead for filing a criminal case against Kalmadi.

“If the former chief of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) fails to provide substantive proof of how the state government’s funds worth Rs 32.95 crore were used, the case should be filed against him,” the CM is believed to have said.

Of this amount, Rs 25.12 crore was diverted to the organising committee (OC) by the state director for sports and youth affairs. No bills or receipts of the utilisation of this amount were submitted. Incidentally, these funds were in addition to the Rs 425.50 crore already provided for the CYG.

Sources said that while approving a criminal case, the chief minister said that if Kalmadi or the OC fail to submit proofs of utilisation of the funds along with receipts, the case should be filed within 15 days.

Chavan’s nod is part of the government’s action-taken report (ATR) prepared as a reply to the public accounts committee (PAC), which itself had prepared a report on the issue and submitted it to the legislature in April last year.

Coming down heavily on the use of the amount of Rs 32.95 crore, made available through contingency funds in three instalments, the PAC had observed that the OC had failed to submit proofs of expenditure despite several reminders. The committee’s findings were based on a scathing report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

The panel had then recommended a criminal case against the Pune MP, who has been suspended by the Congress. Responding to the committee’s directions to submit an ATR within three months, the state government has communicated its stand to the committee.

Sports director in the dock
The PAC has also recommended action against the then director of sports and youth affairs, who disbursed the huge amount to the OC. The decision to allot a 6-acre plot to the OC was taken by senior government officials, including the then chief secretary, who did not recommend cabinet approval.

Questionable actions
After the PAC report was submitted last April, the OC handed over a file containing vouchers. But mere vouchers were not enough and they were against the government norms of accounting, the CAG is believed to have said.

The amount made available to the OC was deposited with a nationalised bank, and further details of withdrawal were unavailable. The sum was demanded for CCTV, but was not spent on the cameras. When only one hotel was expected to be constructed for athletes, two hotels came up.

>> No bills or receipts of how Rs 32.95 cr was used for 2008 games
>> Action recommended against sports director for irregularities
>> CM’s nod part of government’s action- taken report to PAC

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