New Delhi: In a blow to Suresh Kalmadi, his one-time trusted aide, T S Darbari, appears to be breaking ranks. On Monday, Darbari's counsel told a trial court that on November 3, well before his arrest, he had written to the CBI director stating that all decisions with regard to tendering were approved and endorsed on file by the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee's chairman, treasurer, and secretary general, reports Times of India.
Darbari's counsel also claimed that he was not involved in the process and a legally constituted committee under the chairman was taking decisions. He added that in his letter to the CBI director, Darbari -- former joint director-general of the OC -- had sought time with him to explain his position and also describe the connivance of other OC officials.
The CBI now plans to carry out a joint interrogation of the three senior officials of the OC arrested in the last few days.
The CBI on Monday told the trial court that M Jeychandran would be confronted with Darbari and Sanjay Mohindroo, who are already in CBI's custody, in connection with the alleged irregularities in the Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) in London last year. All three officials have told the agency that all the payments had Kalmadi's approval.
Producing Jeychandran -- who was arrested on Sunday night -- before Special CBI Judge A S Yadav, the agency alleged that the names of two London-based firms -- A M Films and A M Cars and Vans -- were endorsed by the other accused ``in consultation with Jeychandran''.
``This reflects that there is some lead showing the demand of the ill-gotten money by them. We need to confront the accused,'' CBI prosecutor said seeking seven days' remand of all the three accused. The court, however, allowed CBI to keep the three in custody till November 25.
Earlier, seeking extension of the remand of Darbari and Mohindroo, CBI said that they have not been cooperating in the investigations. ``The custody of the accused is required to confront the voluminous incriminating documents,'' it said. A source in the agency said the two have been accusing each other of forging email etc.
CBI has filed two separate cases involving both A M Firms and the former officials of the OC on charges of forgery and cheating in organising the QBR. They have been charged with forgery and criminal conspiracy of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency said in his capacity as joint director (finance and accounts), Jeychandran along with deputy director general Sudhir Verma and Sanjay Mohindroo cleared payments for A M Films on Kalmadi's instructions.
An agency source said that Jeychandran later fell out with Kalmadi, Darbari and Mohindroo and filed a suit of Rs 5 crore against the OC in the Delhi High Court. His questioning is likely to help CBI to build its case against Kalmadi. The agency has also found Kalmadi's signatures on the notes that were prepared asking for release of the payment to A M Films. The arrested top OC officials have also claimed that Kalmadi had a role in clearing funds for QBR, the sources said.
CBI sources said documents seized from OC revealed that in a communication dated October 24, 2009, Mohindroo asked for the release of payment which was further endorsed by Kalmadi at Hotel Crowne Plaza in London. In the note, director-general V K Verma asked the OC officials to go ahead with the payment.
CBI said that all three arrested officials will be jointly interrogated as they have been blaming each other. Sources added that some more officials could be involved in the scam.CBI said that it is trying to retrieve information from the laptops seized from the accused. These laptops have been sent for forensic examination.