Cornered by allegations of corruption in the Commonwealth Games' preparations and isolated within his own party, under-fire Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Wednesday said he is ready to face any Comptroller and Auditor General or judicial probe into the financial transactions related to the event.
"I, as Chairman of the Organising Committee, am prepared to face any scrutiny by or even a judicial probe for all financial transactions being reported by the media. All the people found guilty will be punished and brought to book," Kalmadi said in a statement.
Kalmadi's statement came a day after more allegations of irregularities and the Indian High Commission's e-mails being 'doctored' came to light.
The Congress party also distanced itself from the Pune Member of Parliament. Kalmadi reiterated that the all transactions were carried out by the full approval of the OC's various finance committee and he did not have any individual say on these matters.
"The financial procedures at the Organising Committee are well laid down and transparent. Any proposal that is prepared by the Functional Area Head first gets vetted by the OC Finance Committee which has two representatives of Government of India, and after that it is referred to Finance Sub-Committee, comprising of three Senior representatives of Government of India," he explained.
"Thereafter, the proposals are submitted to the Executive Board for its final approval. Chairman OC, in his individual capacity, does not have any financial powers," he added.
Kalmadi said, nonetheless, he has taken note of the various reported bunglings.
"60 days are left for the start of XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 to be held in New Delhi and 43 days for Games Village to open when about 8000 athletes and Officials from all continents of the world start arriving to participate in the Games," Kalmadi said.
"During the last week, media has come out with various stories regarding the irregularities in the orders/ procurement etc of QBR Launch Function at London/Overlays and association of M/S Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM) in obtaining the Sponsorship for the games," he said.
"I have taken a serious note of these reports and appointed a three member committee headed by Mr. Jarnail Singh, the Chief Executive Officer and two members, Mr G C Chaturvedi, Special Director General and Ms Gurjot Kaur Chief Vigilance Officer of Organising Committee to look into all the details of QBR Launch Function, Overlays and SMAM issues. The Committee has been asked to submit its report by August 5, 2010," the statement read.
The Indian Olympic Association chief was left red-faced yesterday when the Ministry of External Affairs said that the e-mails from the Indian High Commission that he made public to justify huge payments to a UK-based firm were 'doctored'.
His back against the wall, Kalmadi has been isolated in the OC as well with some his own colleagues demanding an emergency meeting to discuss allegations of corruption, which have also been highlighted in a Central Vigilance Commission report.