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Kalmadi restrained from attending Games opening

July 25, 2012 17:35 IST

Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi was on Wednesday restrained by the Delhi high court from attending the London Olympics' opening ceremony.

The court said his participation in the Games' opening can cause "embarassment" to the nation.

- London Olympics 2012 - Complete Coverage

A bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also barred Kalmadi from leaving the country till July 27.

In its order, the bench said, "From the national point of view, we have decided the matter and he should not participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

"His participation can cause embarrassment to the country," the bench said, adding, "National interest is the prime concern."

However, the bench left it to the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF) to decide his plea to attend its meeting after reading the court's order.

Kalmadi had made a plea that being the president of the Asian Athletes Association (AAA) he was invited by the IAAF.

The court passed its order on a PIL filed by lawyer Rahul Mehra seeking to restrain Kalmadi from proceeding to London for the Olympics in view of the criminal cases pending against him in connection with the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Kalmadi had contended that the PIL was motivated and directed against him. But the PIL submitted that he would be visiting London in his personal capacity and should refrain himself from attending the Olympics on moral and ethical values.

The court had on July 18 sought Kalmadi's reply on Mehra's plea to restrain him from going for the Games and asked him not to advance his slated July 26 departure for it.

On July 13, a special CBI court had allowed Kalmadi to go to London from July 26 to August 13.

Mehra has objected to Kalmadi's proposed London sojourn, contending that he is going to attend the Games with public money and in violation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) code of ethics.

He sought the high court's direction to restrain him from visiting London on the ground that he is facing trial in a corruption case and cannot be allowed to represent the country in an international event.

The Lok Sabha MP and 10 others have been charge-sheeted by the CBI under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly "illegally" awarding a contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.

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