By Tom Degun

Suresh-KalmadiFebruary 4 - A court in India today framed charges against former Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games chairman Suresh Kalmadi for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of more than Rs.90 crore (£11 million/$17 million/€13 million) to the public exchequer in a Commonwealth Games related bribery case.

The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) saw Kalmadi and nine others, including former Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games secretary general Lalit Bhanot, all appear in court.

The court has ordered a fast-tracking of the case and hearings will be held four times a week, with the first hearing set for Thursday (February 7) when the prosecution will present a list of witnesses and the time schedule when they can come for recording statements.

If convicted of both corruption and criminal conspiracy charges, Kalmadi, the former President of the Indian Olympic Association, could face up to a life term in prison.

Besides Kalmadi and Bhanot, the others charged are V K Verma, Surjit Lal, A S V Prasad and M Jayachandran who all worked for Delhi 2010 in senior positions.

The CBI had filed a charge sheet against Kalmadi and the others, accusing them of illegally awarding a contract to install the timing, scoring and results (TSR) system for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to Swiss Timing at inflated rates.

The charges are being framed under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act against the accused.

Besides cheating and conspiracy, the accused will also be charged with forgery and criminal misconduct by public servants.

Kalmadi and bhanot 2Suresh Kalmadi (right), Lalit Bhanot (left) and eight others involved with the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games face corruption charges

The key focus in court was on Kalmadi, who was released on bail in January last year after nine months in custody shortly after being was sacked as Delhi 2010 chairman in April 2011 after the corruption allegations were made against him.

The CBI began a full-fledged investigation and some of Kalmadi and his aides in 2011, where the former Delhi 2010 chairman was questioned three times.

The CBI also raided his homes and offices in Delhi and Pune to gather evidence while he was arrested after a fourth round of interrogation.

Kalmadi was also indicted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which accused him of violating foreign exchange laws while making payments to a London-based firm that he hired for the Queen's Baton Relay in 2009.

Kalmadi's lawyers have continued to maintain that he was not aware of the details of any of the corrupt deals that took place.

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October 2012: IOC Ethics Commission recommends suspension for Kalmadi and aides ahead of IOA elections
July 2012: Indian Sports Ministry angry after Kalmadi given permission to travel to London 2012