Opposing framing of charges against him in a Commonwealth Games-related graft case, former Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot claimed in a Delhi court that the CBI was "biased" against him.
Bhanot's counsel Ramesh Gupta told Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh that the allegations levelled against him by the agency reflect "total prejudice" of the prosecution.
"Accused has a right of fair investigation trial and fair trial and this court must see that the prosecution (CBI) is biased against me," senior counsel Gupta said.
He argued that "as far as Bhanot is concerned, the charge sheet reflects total prejudice of the prosecution."
Gupta cited various judgements of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to buttress his arguments opposing the framing of charges against Bhanot.
Bhanot had earlier told the court that no financial power was accorded to him and his work was only to coordinate with others during the 2010 mega sporting event.
The CBI had alleged that Suresh Kalmadi, sacked CWG Organising Committee chairman and an accused in the case, and his associates had rejected the Spanish firm MSL's much lower bid of Rs 62 crore for the Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system contract and had awarded it to Swiss Timing Omega, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.
Kalmadi, Bhanot and nine others have been charge-sheeted by the CBI under various provisions of IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly "illegally" awarding contract to install the TSR system for the 2010 CWG to Swiss Timing.
Bhanot had earlier told the court that Spanish firm MSL was not given the contract to install the TSR system despite low prices because it had submitted "forged" documents.
Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the other nine accused in the case are OC's Director General V K Verma, Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, Joint Director General (Sports) A S V Prasad and Treasurer M Jayachandran. They are no more associated with the sporting body.
Promoters of two construction companies - P D Arya and A K Madan of Faridabad-based Gem International and A K Reddy and his firm AKR Constructions are also accused in the case.
Besides the two firms, Swiss Timing Omega - the Swiss firm which was awarded the contract allegedly at exorbitant rates - and AKR Constructions are also accused in the case.