V.K. Verma and Lalit Bhanot charged

Indian police raided the homes and offices of two top organizers of the recent Commonwealth Games following accusations that that they paid exorbitant rates for buying equipment from a Swiss company, an official said Wednesday.
“During searches (on Tuesday) voluminous incriminating documents have been recovered. The investigation and searches are in progress,” said R.K. Gaur, a spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation.
India had hoped to boost its international reputation by hosting the Oct. 3-14 Commonwealth Games but instead the event was overshadowed by allegations of corruption, construction delays and cost overruns. The CBI last week registered cases of conspiracy and cheating against the two officials, V.K. Verma and Lalit Bhanot.
It accused them of causing a huge loss to the Indian government by paying 1.07 billion rupees ($23 million) to Swiss Timings Limited for purchasing a timing, scoring and result system which was available at a much cheaper rate from a Spain-based company.
“The Spain-based company was allegedly wrongfully eliminated at prequalification bid stage,” the CBI said in a statement.
Both Verma and Bhanot denied any wrongdoing and said they acted with due diligence while awarding contracts for the games.
The CBI earlier this month arrested three games organizing committee officials, M. Jayachandran, T.S. Darbari and Sanjay Mahendroo, accusing them of forgery and cheating over the awarding of games-related contracts.
The cost of hosting the event ballooned to around $15 billion from the original estimated $412 million. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party alleged millions were siphoned by companies run by relatives of Games officials.