Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Delhi HC asks Games organising committee to preserve documents relating to Queen's Baton Relay

The Delhi high court today asked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to preserve all documents pertaining to the Queen's Baton Relay on a plea by suspended official M Jeychandren seeking appointment of a local commissioner to examine the relevant papers relating to the sports event.

The court also sought a response from the top brass of the Organising Committee, including its chairman Suresh Kalmadi, on the defamation suit filed by Jeychandren seeking Rs5 crore in damages for "destroying" his professional record.

Justice Sunil Gaur issued notices to Kalmadi, OC's secretary general Lalit Bhanot also Mike Fennell, chief of Commonwealth Games Federation(CGF), besides 14 other OC officials and sought their response by January 4, 2011.

On August 5, OC had suspended Jeychandren, TS Darbari and Sanjay Mahindroo following charges of questionable selection process and payments to AM Car and Van and AM Films for their services during the Baton Relay function in October 2009 in London.

Filing an application before the court, Jeychandren claimed he had no role in the controversy over payments to these companies. "I had no role except to follow instructions of the OC and done the process for release of payments after due sanction".

On his plea for appointment of a local commissioner to examine the documents relating to the event, the court did not pass any order but asked the OC to preserve them for the court's perusal.

Demanding Rs5 crore in damages for "harassment, humiliation and immense mental agony" to him and his family members, Jeychandren sought the court's order for his immediate reinstatement as OSD (Revenue).

The suspended official said he was never told of any charge of irregularities against him nor was he given an opportunity to explain before the internal committee set up by the OC.

He also alleged that the action by the OC was violative of the principles of natural justice and arbitrary.

The former Indian Railway Account Service (IRAS) officer of 1981 batch has claimed he was not involved in the decisions regarding AM Films, which had kicked up a major controversy.

"I was made out to be a culprit of irregular dealings relating to foreign exchange with the aforesaid firms without any basis, logic or justification", the petitioner claimed.

It has been alleged that Darbari and Mahindroo had actively pursued the payments for AM Films, and Kalmadi and Bhanot had signed on various documents regarding the payments.

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