New Delhi: Beleaguered IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi, who is in the eye of the storm over corruption in the Commonwealth Games 2010, faced further setback on Tuesday after the External Affairs Ministry is supposed to have rejected his claims regarding the UK money scam.
While Kalmadi claimed publicly that the protocol division of the Indian High Commission in London in an e-mail, had cleared AM Films – now known to be a dubious enterprise – to do business with the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, the high commission and the Ministry of External Affairs have denied giving any such sanction.
Kalmadi, who met MEA SM Krishna today, was given a copy of the e-mail that was sent by the ministry to the CWG Organising Committee regarding preparations for the Queen’s Baton Relay. Contradicting Kalmadi’s version, the ministry’s e-mail had no mention of the UK based firm.
Clearly, the Games management is under a cloud. Even the Sports Ministry has asked for the removal of his close aide TS Darbari from the CWG Organising Committee.
The ministry in a note sent to Kalmadi asked for the sacking of Darbari, who is currently the Deputy Department General of the Games panel.
Darbari came 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.
Later investigations have revealed that AM Films and its sister concerns were dubious but were paid 2,50,000 pounds without any written contract.
Adding credence to the doubts about the company credentials was the fact that it 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 The liquidation notice was later withdrawn after the company gave an explanation.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.
It was TS Darbari who had introduced the CWG OC to the firm.
According to reports, it was said that the money trail leading to UK where ‘services’ were provided without written contracts was a key proof of the rampant corruption in the Commonwealth games 2010.
Meanwhile, Kalmadi is said to have agreed to the demand of the CWF and called a meeting of the Executive Board on August 5 to look into the entire mess just days before the CWG Games.