T S Darbari, the Commonwealth Games' Joint-Director General, who was sacked in the wake of the corruption scandal that has hit October's extravaganza in Delhi, sought to clear himself any wrongdoing on Wednesday, saying he was not involved in any dealing with A M Films and is being made a "scapegoat".
"My role in the London QBR [Queen's Baton Relay] launch was ceremonial. It had nothing to do with any negotiation of shortlisting of vendors or financial transaction or imbursement or recommendation of advance," he said.
"This is a tragedy the way things have been projected. Whatever has happened, it is unfortunate. I'm unnecessary being targetted and being made a scapegoat," he said.
Asked if he received a letter from A M Films dated August 22, 2009, an angry Darbari replied, "If there is any letter, send it to me; it should have my signature. If someone is concocting any letter it is his problem not mine.
"I have already clarified that I am not a party to any contract, never I was a recommending person. There was a committee constituted for this purpose, which has recommended, and competent authority has approved it," he said.
Darbari further said he can neither deny or confirm the authenticity of Raju Sebastian's letter.
"I can't deny or confirm the authenticity of the letter, since neither I was an addresser nor I was the addressee," he said.
Asked if Suresh Kalmadi was aware of the deal, Darbari said, "I do not know who was in the know-how. I just know that Darbari was not in the know-how. I never knew Ashish Patel and I don't want to have a discussion about a third person. I have to safeguard my self respect and I know I am not a party to anything."
The e-mail, sent by an Indian High Commission protocol official, Raju
Sebastian, recommending various service providers for the London launch of the Queen's Baton Relay stirred a hornest's nest after Ministry of External Affairs declared that the mail could have been "doctored".
The e-mail was made public by CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi to justify payments to a little-known UK-firm -- AM Films -- for its "services" during the event, which was also attended by President Pratibha Patil and British Queen Elizabeth II.
The mail was originally sent to OC director Raj Singh and later forwarded to suspended Deputy Director General Sanjay Mohindroo, who in turn sent it to Darbari.
However, Darbari, in his letter to probe panel head and Organising Committee CEO Jarnail Singh claimed he had nothing to do with the mail as he neither received it first-hand nor sent it to anybody else.
Even Raj Singh also said he won't be able to say whether the mail recommending A M Films is authentic or not.
Mohindroo, on his part, said he doesn't want to comment till the investigation is over.
"I wouldn't want to make any comment as investigation is still on, he said.