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Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
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CWG Controversy

Who Changed The Bid Document?

'The original Bid Document had provided for a “Government Appointee” as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Organizing Committee (OC), with the Vice Chairman being the IOA President. However, the bid document was inexplicably changed to delete

Who Changed The Bid Document?
Who Changed The Bid Document?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The text of the suo moto statement in the Lok Sabha by the minister of state (independent charge) for youth affairs and sports regarding Commonwealth Games, 2010.

For Background and analysis, please see:CWG: L'Affaire Kalmadi

***

I wish to make a statement on the Commonwealth Games (CWG), 2010.

The XIX Commonwealth Games had been organized successfully in Delhi. India, with its rich haul of medals, has emerged as a significant sporting nation in the world. Indian Athletes registered outstanding medal winning performance, even in sports such as Gymnastics, Athletics, Swimming, etc. Women athletes also recorded excellent performances.

The Bid Document for the Commonwealth Games was submitted on 14th May, 2003. Shri Vikram Verma, the then Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, wrote to the Chairman, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on 24th May, 2003 and conveyed support to the bid in the city of Delhi. The letter stated that

“Government of India, therefore, undertakes to support the bid of the city of Delhi to host the Games, guarantee free entry to India of all accredited athletes and delegates of the participating countries and further guarantee that the Games will be organized in accordance with the Constitution, Protocols and Regulations of the Commonwealth Games Federation”.

The original Bid Document had provided for a “Government Appointee” as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Organizing Committee (OC), with the Vice Chairman being the IOA President. However, the bid document was inexplicably changed to delete the words “Government Appointee” in respect of the Chairman.

The legally obligatory Host City Contact was signed with the Commonwealth Games Federation, on 13.11.2003, by Shri Suresh Kalmadi, President Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the Lieutenant Governor, Delhi and the Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. The Host City Contract, through its Games Management, Protocol, to which the Government of India became a signatory in 2003, stipulated that the organization of the Games will be entrusted to the Commonwealth Games Association of the host country, which in our case was the IOA.

The Host City Contract stipulated that “the CGA (in our case the IOA) shall establish an Organizing Committee (OC), which shall have legal status and shall delegate the organization of the Games to the OC, which shall work in conjunction with its CGA, and shall be jointly and severally responsible with the CGA for all the commitments including financial commitments in regard to the organization and staging of the games”. (Protocol 2, Para 1.1)

Thus empowered, the IOA in its meeting held on November, 1, 2004 resolved that:

“This House of the IOA, General Assembly elects Shri Suresh Kalmadi, President IOA, as chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Common Wealth Games 2010 and authorizes him to finalize the Organizing Committee in consultation with the other members of IOA. It further authorizes Shri Suresh Kalmadi, President, IOA, to deal with the Government of India and the government of NCT of Delhi regarding the Commonwealth Games”.

The Host City Contract which was signed by the then Secretary (Sports), Government of India and approved by the Cabinet of the NDA Government, should ideally have been signed and approved by the Secretary, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and approved by the Cabinet of the GNCTD respectively, as is the practice with other international sporting events, including the forth coming London Olympics.

By not doing so the “Host City Contract" effectively became the “Host Country Contract”. In the process, while it committed the Central Government to all financial and infrastructural obligations viz-a-viz the Games, it, in one stroke also took away from the Government of India, any residual, amending or discretionary powers, that could have been exercised in emergent situations to salvage any wrong doings.

If we compare the other Bid of Hamilton, Canada for the CWG in 2003, it is found that the Government of Canada and State of Ontario, the City of Hamilton and Mc Master University undertook to provide significant contributions to the cost of staging the Games, but the government of Canada was ready to provide deficit guarantee only to the extent of 35 %. Neither, the Govt. of Canada, nor that of Ontario, the CGA of Canada or the Mc Master University were ready to assume responsibility for any deficit of OC.

Moreover, the Governments of Canada or Ontario were not ready to be signatories to the host City contract. Only Hamilton City was to provide deficit under writing in signing the HCC and that too subject to a number of conditions. Yet, the bid by Hamilton was considered to be a Confirming Bid.

The Host City Contract with Protocols and Regulations unalterably conceding supremacy to the CGF and IOA over all matters pertaining to constitution of the OC and financing of the Games was circulated in the Cabinet on September 10, 2003 and was approved the next day itself by the Cabinet on September 11, 2003.

This contract with protocols, which also made the CGF owner of the Games, was not scrutinized and thoroughly verified. Any viable alternative to the provisions were neither explored nor suggested.

Even though bidding for multi-sport mega events is done by the National Olympic Committees, in this case the IOA, the organizations of the Games after successful bidding could and should have been entrusted to an accountable and responsible Government Body through proper provisions by amendments in the HCC and the Games Management Protocols;

The then Union Government should have enabled Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi to sign the contract. However, the Government of India directly stepped in to provide the letter of support for the bid to host the CWG 2010 in Delhi and to meet the deficit between revenue and expenditure fully, without any budgetary constraint. Thus the Government of India, consequently, became jointly and separately responsible for all commitments, including without limitation, financial commitment relating to the organization and staging of the Games.

Madam Speaker, the government was well aware that a number of concerns had been raised regarding CWG, 2010. These include:

  1. Allegations of corruption in the conduct of the Games, misappropriation of funds, mismanagement, wasteful expenditure and wrongdoing related to the Games.
  2. Delay in completion of sports and city infrastructure projects
  3. Defects in quality of construction, poor site management and escalation of costs and
  4. Accidents during the construction of CWG related projects and
  5. Steps taken by the Government to punish the guilty.

During the Monsoon Session of Parliament 2010, the Government had assured the House that irregularities will be enquired into and the guilty punished.

Keeping in view this assurance given in Parliament, immediately after the completion of the Games, Government constituted a High Level Committee (HLC) headed by Shri V.K. Shunglu to look into various issues related to the organizing and conduct of the CWG, 2010, including weaknesses in management, alleged misappropriation, irregularities, wasteful expenditure and wrongdoing, and recommend action on the same.

The HLC has completed its task and submitted 6 reports relating to (i) Host Broadcasting, (ii) Commonwealth Games Village, (iii) City Infrastructure, (iv) Games Venues, (v) Organising Committee, and (vi) a Main report on organising and conduct of the Commonwealth Games. Based on the recommendations of these reports certain action has already been taken.

In the matter related to award of contract by Prasar Bharti to a private company, a case has been registered against CEO of Prasar Bharti and one private individual. A GoM is considering the observations made by the HLC regarding the relationship between the Government and Prasar Bharti and the CEO and the Prasar Bharti Board.

Other matters relating to alleged forgery, falsification, record creation have been referred to CBI and Directorate of Enforcement for taking necessary action. The Central Bureau of Investigation has already registered 11 Cases against 45 Officials/ entities. They include, 5 cases related to Overlays, Queens Batons Relay, Timing, Scoring & Result System and Merchandizing and Licensing, against 14 officials of the Organizing Committee including its erstwhile Chairman and 13 others. 3 cases have also been registered by the CBI in matters related to Shivaji and Talkatora Stadiums against 10 officials of NDMC, 2 officials of CPWD and some private entities. Similarly 1 case, pertaining to the Lawn Bowls venue at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium has been registered against 7 officers of DDA and CPWD and a private company. In the case of Barapullah Project of Government of Delhi, a case has been registered by CBI against 8 officials of PWD of Government of Delhi and 2 private companies/individuals and in the matter of street lighting project of MCD, a case has been registered against 6 officials of MCD and one private entity.

Apart from the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax authorities are also investigating alleged irregularities. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is examining various complaints regarding the Games. The Comptroller & Auditor General of General of India has also submitted his report on the Games and Games related expenditure which will duly be presented in Parliament.

Government agencies have already taken action in respect of alleged irregularities and wrongdoings and Government is committed to take action against all those found guilty. At the same time, it must not be lost sight of that the Games were ultimately organized successfully and have been acclaimed as one of the best ever Commonwealth Games.

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