Court allows Kalmadi’s London visit


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Wednesday allowed sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi to visit Britain but restrained him from attending the July 27 opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012.

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A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “We are not allowing him to attend the opening ceremony.”

The court directed Kalmadi not to leave the country before July 27, the day when the Olympics opening ceremony would be held in London.

Kalmadi is out on bail in a corruption case linked to the 2010 Commonwealth Games here.

Advocate Rahul Mehra filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to restrain Kalmadi from visiting London. He has said Kalmadi was going to attend the Games at public expense and in violation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) code of ethics.

Kalmadi told the court that he was leaving for London in his individual capacity and not in his official capacity as the president of Indian Olympic Association.

“I am not going there to represent either the government of India or any other sports body of India. I have not been sponsored by any Indian body. I am not carrying the badge of Indian representative in the Olympics,” said Kalmadi.

“I have a fundamental right to travel and I certainly have a right to watch the Games if I choose to buy ticket on my own or some friends give me a ticket,” he said.

“I am the president of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) and have been invited by the IAAF, a foreign body. And I am going there on behalf of the AAA,” Kalmadi said.