Mumbai, Feb 28 IANS | 9 months ago

A legislative panel Friday recommended criminal action against suspended Congress parliamentarian Suresh Kalmadi, who headed the 2008 Pune Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) organising committee, for alleged misappropriation of funds.

Girish Bapat, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Maharashtra legislature, told the assembly that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had allowed the organising committee three months to submit its final statements of expenditure.

Failure to do so would entail criminal action against Kalmadi, a Lok Sabha member from Pune, he added.

"The stipulated three months time is over. Some papers have been received. The government should go ahead with filing a criminal offence," Bapat said.

He pointed out that despite adequate budgetary provisions for organising the games in Pune in 2008, an additional funding of more than Rs.30 crore was given from the state's contingency fund, but till date the details of its utilisation has not been made available to the PAC.

The PAC's recommendation came 10 months after Kalmadi was indicted in its report.

Kalmadi, a former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president, is already facing criminal charges in connection with the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi.

"The organising committee (of Pune 2008) has misused government as well as public funds. Despite requests, the organising committee or the Directorate of Sports and Youth Services failed to provide details of the expenditure incurred," the PAC said.

Incidentally, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its 2011 report had also pointed out financial irregularities in the Pune 2008 games which had a budget of Rs.425.50 crore.

In August 2008, the organising committee headed by Kalmadi and another tainted former official Lalit Bhanot had sought additional emergency funding of Rs.32.95 crore from the state government.

Between September 2008 and August 2009, the state had released the amount in three installments from its contingency funds.

Bapat said the government in its action-taken report on the PAC's findings about the alleged involvement of certain officials said that they had been reprimanded.

"However, the PAC's view is that a probe should be ordered against them and the guilty should be punished," Bapat said.

(Posted on 28-02-2014)

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