Kalmadi says he's ready to face CAG scrutiny on alleged CWG scam

     The chairman of the organising committee of the Delhi Commonwealth Games and Indian Olympic Association chief, Suresh Kalmadi, on Wednesday said that he was prepared to face any scrutiny by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) or even a judicial probe for all the alleged illegal financial transactions being reported by the media. He also said that anyone found guilty, would be brought to book. In a statement issued today, Kalmadi said: "Sixty days are left for the start of XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 to be held in New Delhi and 43 days for Games Village to open when about 8000 athletes and Officials from all continents of the world start arriving to participate in the Games. During the last week, media has come out with various stories regarding the irregularities in the orders / procurement etc. of QBR Launch Function at London / Overlays and association of M/S Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM) in obtaining the Sponsorship for the games. I have taken a serious note of these reports and appointed a three member committee headed by Mr. Jarnail Singh, the Chief Executive Officer and two members, Mr. G. C. Chaturvedi (IAS), Special Director General and Ms. Gurjot Kaur (IDAS) Chief Vigilance Officer of Organising Committee to look into all the details of QBR Launch Function, Overlays and SMAM issues. The Committee has been asked to submit its report by August 5, 2010 ." "The financial procedures at the Organising Committee are well laid down and transparent. Any proposal that is prepared by the Functional Area Head first gets vetted by the O. C. Finance Committee which has two representatives of Government of India, and after that it is referred to Finance Sub-Committee, comprising of three Senior representatives of Government of India. There after, the proposals are submitted to the Executive Board for its final approval. Chairman O.C., in his individual capacity does not have any financial powers," he added. The statement came a day after Kalmadi, who is at the center of an alleged corruption scam linked to the Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi from October 3 to October 14, met External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to clarify the Commonwealth Games stand on the UK money trail. The controversy emerged over charges that a UK-based firm AM Films is being used as a conduit for siphoning off crores of rupees (lakhs of pounds) that have been sanctioned by the government for the smooth conduct of the games. While Kalmadi has claimed publicly that the protocol division of the Indian High Commission in London cleared the firm to do business with the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, the high commission and the Ministry of External Affairs have denied giving any such sanction. The Sports Ministry has asked Kalmadi to remove his close aide T.S. Darbari from the CWG Organising Committee, compounding his problems further. Darbari is currently the Deputy Department General of the Games panel and has come under the scanner after reports emerged about his association with AM films, a little-known UK firm that was paid lakhs of pounds by the CWG Organising Committee for its "services" during the London leg of the Queen''s Baton relay. Investigations have revealed that AM Films and its sister concerns are suspect business entities that were paid 2,50,000 pounds without any written contract. The company had faced liquidation in July 2010. A day after getting the liquidation notice, its director Ashish Patel resigned from his post. The liquidation notice was later withdrawn after the company gave an explanation. Even its sister organisation, AM Car and Van Hire Company filed for liquidation in July 2010. AM Films is currently facing a probe by UK Customs and Revenue Department. Media reports claim that the money trail leading to UK is key proof of the rampant corruption in the Commonwealth Games 2010. Kalmadi has called a meeting of the Commonwealth Games Executive Board on August 5 to discuss the allegations of corruption on a demand of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

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