Very shortly a CBI team will visit London to further its probe on the Queen’s Baton Relay scam in which AM Cars and AM Films were granted contracts at exorbitant rates by the organizing Committee of the Commonwealth Games (CWG). In response to letters rogatory sent by the CBI, British authorities have assured assistance in the probe. CBI has alleged two cases of criminal conspiracy with the London firm for awarding contracts to provide transportation and supplying video screens at exorbitant rates. The CBI has alleged that the contracts to AM Films and AM Cars were awarded on the false claim that these firms were on the panel of the Indian High Commission in London. Two e-mails were allegedly forged by the officials of the CWG Organizing Committee to justify the selection of the firms.
Before departing for London has the CBI done its homework on this case in India ? This scribe pointed out to a crucial official related to the CWG investigation the oddity of Mr. Suresh Kalmadi prominently displaying on TV the allegedly forged letter from our London High Commission recommending AM Films and AM Cars for being given the contracts. This scribe asked if Mr. Kalmadi had been queried about the background to the letter he had displayed on TV. The official blithely responded: “Oh, but we have checked. The email message from the High Commission was forged!”
For him the matter ended there. He completely missed the oddity this scribe tried to highlight. The significance lies not in the authenticity or otherwise of the letter. It lies in it being displayed on TV in the manner which Mr. Kalmadi adopted.
The email message was purportedly from Mr. Raju Sebastian, a very junior High Commission official in the protocol division. After the letter was displayed on TV the High Commission refuted its contents. It pointed out that Mr. Sebastian was too junior to have been entrusted with passing such a communication or making the recommendation for giving the contracts to AM Films.
Mr. Suresh Kalmadi is very savvy. Has the CBI asked him the following questions? No media person as yet has. If Mr. Kalmadi had to utilize a forged letter to justify award of the contracts why did he not select an official with appropriate seniority in the High Commission to make the forgery credible? If the letter was allegedly forged why was he reckless enough to display it so prominently on TV? Did Mr. Kalmadi have previous knowledge of Mr. Sebastian’s background for him to select the latter as his victim of forgery? Forgery is serious crime. Did legal action follow?
And finally, did Mr. Kalmadi display the letter on TV to convince the public or to pass on a hidden warning to the powers that be?
As a protocol official did not Mr. Sebastian come in close contact with very powerful Indian personalities while he accompanied them as part of his routine duties during their London visits?
These are questions that need to be sorted out. Has the CBI team satisfied itself with the answers before leaving for London ?
Answers to these questions might reveal explosive facts. It might also explain why Mr. Kalmadi is not arrested.