New Delhi: The Delhi High court Wednesday issued notice to former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, an accused in a corruption case, on a plea opposing his visit to London during the Olympics there later this month.The plea made by advocate Rahul Mehra has sought the court’s direction to restrain Kalmadi from going to London on the ground that he is facing trial in a corruption case and cannot be allowed to represent the country in an international event.
Issuing notice to Kalmadi, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought his reply to Mehra’s pleas within three days.
The bench asked Kalmadi, who is scheduled to leave for the games on July 26 as the President of the Asian Athletes Association and also the Member Council of International Association of Athletes Federation, not to leave the country prior to his scheduled date of departure.
Issuing notice also to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which is headed by Kalmadi as its president, the bench, in its order, said, “Issue notice to respondents (IOA and Kalmadi)… He (Kalmadi) is not going to leave the country before his scheduled date of 26 July.”
The court posted the matter for next hearing on 24 July.
Mehra has objected to Kalmadi’s London sojourn, contending that he is going to attend the games on public money and in violation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) code of ethics.
On 13 July, a special CBI court had allowed Kalmadi to go to London from 26 July to 13 August for the 2012 London Olympics.
Appearing for Kalmadi, senior counsel Rajiv Nayyar told the bench that his client is leaving for London Olympics on his individual capacity and not in his official capacity as IOA president.
“He is not representing the government. He is going in his individual capacity as he is being invited there,” Nayyar replied to the court’s query that as to in what capacity he was going to London.
Countering the arguments of Kalmadi’s counsel, Mehra said as a IOA president, Kalmadi had, in January and February 2012, given two undertakings to be on prolonged absence from IOA and not to interfere into its day-to-day affairs after a letter from the IOC had asked him to comply with its code of ethics.
Mehra pointed out that Kalmadi had been behind bars for nine months for his alleged role in a corruption case and the IOC charter bars such persons from attending its events.
The advocate sought the court’s directions to restrain Kalmadi from attending the London Olympics 2012 saying “Kalmadi is indirectly representing IOA in the Olympic games…”
The Lok Sabha MP and 10 others have been charge-sheeted by the CBI under various provisions of the PICK and the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly “illegally” awarding a contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.