Kalmadi had cleared my name in diamond jewellery case: Darbari


New Delhi : Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi had himself given a clean chit to now-suspended joint director general T.S. Darbari on a matter pertaining to seizure of some diamond jewellery by customs officials at Kochi.

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So say the contents of a letter dispatched to Sports Secretary Sindhushree Khullar by Darbari in which he has also attached a letter purportedly written by Kalmadi to Youth Affairs and Sports Minister M.S.Gill April 29.

“I had clarified that there is no case, no charge by customs authorities, nor is there any alleged involvement of Shri T.S. Darbari in any case by customs authorities,” says the letter, stated to have been written by Kalmadi.

“Kindly appreciate that since there is no case or charge against Shri Darbari by the customs authorities, the question of divesting him of the charge in the organising committee does not arise,” says the letter, a copy of which was obtained by IANS.

“Any such action would not only be unfair, but administratively and legally totally untenable and against the principles of natural justice.”

Papers appended with the letter to the sports secretary suggest the matter pertained to seizure of some diamond-studded jewellery at Cochin International Airport Jan 28 after which one K.D. Mani from whom the jewellery was confiscated, “took” Darbari’s name.

Kalmadi’s letter says Darbari subsequently appeared April 5 in response to the summons issued by the customs authorities, tendered his witness-statement and completed all the formalities. The matter regarding the appearance by Darbari and his witness-statement issued during an appearance at Customs House near the Delhi airport also is mentioned in a noting by superintendent of investigation P.S. Kataria.

“The above replies are self-explanatory and based on factual position. I am sure this would clear any misconception that still remains at your end or in the ministry,” says the organising committee chairman’s letter.

Darbari, suspended last week as joint director general of the Organising Committee, also sent a similar letter to Organising Committee chief executive Jarnail Singh, along with a 11-page annexure.

In the letter, he hoped he would not be made a scapegoat and sought to clear his name from being associated with charges of financial impropriety regarding the Queens Baton Relay event in London, saying he was not involved in any way in selecting the vendors.