CWG case: Kalmadi denied bail

Special CBI judge Talwant Singh dismissed Mr Kalmadi’s bail plea along with that of Games organising panel’s joint director-general (sports) ASV Prasad, saying that “the offences are of serious nature”

New Delhi: Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CWG) chief Suresh Kalmadi, arrested for his alleged role in awarding a Games contract to a Swiss firm at an exorbitant rate, was Monday denied bail by a court in Delhi, reports PTI.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge Talwant Singh dismissed Mr Kalmadi’s bail plea along with that of Games organising panel’s joint director-general (sports) ASV Prasad, saying that “the offences are of serious nature.”

The court also said that they might try to influence witnesses, if enlarged on bail at this juncture.

The court also said that “Mr Prasad was close to Mr Kalmadi” and had a key role in awarding the contract which caused huge loss to the exchequer.

Mr Kalmadi was arrested along with Organising Committee (OC) joint director general (sport) ASV Prasad and three others on 25th April for awarding the contract for installing the Time-Scoring-Result (TSR) system to a Swiss firm, Swiss Times Omega, at an exorbitant cost of Rs141 crore, causing a loss of over Rs95 crore to the public exchequer.

The court had earlier reserved its order on bail pleas of Mr Kalmadi and Mr Prasad on 16th May.

The CBI prosecutor had opposed Mr Kalmadi’s bail plea, saying his “conduct (in resorting to corruption in holding the 2010 mega sporting event) has tarnished the image of the country.”

The agency had argued that Mr Kalmadi, as the head of the OC, had “supreme and overriding powers” and “any official of OC, who dared to protest against the illegal activities of Mr Kalmadi and his associates, was threatened, harassed and removed from their position or were forced to leave.”

The CBI had said that Mr Kalmadi and his team had declared the Swiss firm eligible for installing the Times Scoring Result, even while the tendering process was still on and there was ample time for various possible bidders for submitting bids for it.

But Mr Kalmadi and his team closed the bidding process abruptly even before submission of a single bid for it after arbitrarily choosing the Swiss firm for the job.

“The accused persons had become so brazen and bold with no care and fear of the rules, regulations and the laws that they openly declared that TSR will be provided by Swiss Timing even when the tender was on and not a single bid had been received,” the CBI said in its reply.

Pressing for Mr Kalmadi's bail, senior advocate UU Lalit had said his client had extended his support at all stages of investigation to CBI.

“From lodging of the FIR till my arrest, at every level, I (Kalmadi) have extended my support. I even went to the extent that I did not file an anticipatory bail,” he had pleaded.


Cost-benefit analysis of UID necessary: IIM-A professor

"There had been serious debates in countries like Australia, Canada and UK about the viability national identity policy, given that the chances of misuse of data in a centralised system increase by leaps and bounds," the working paper written by Prof Rajnish Dass of IIM Ahmedabad says

Ahmedabad: A cost-benefit evaluation of the Unique Identification Project (UID), which aims to provide a unique 12-digit number to each of the 1.2 billion Indians, is necessary, considering difficulties in implementation and scope for misuse afterwards, reports PTI quoting a 'working paper' (WP) by a professor at Indian Institute of Management.

"There had been serious debates in countries like Australia, Canada and UK about the viability national identity policy, given that the chances of misuse of data in a centralised system increase by leaps and bounds," the WP written by Prof Rajnish Dass of IIM Ahmedabad says.

"It becomes a single point of failure," it adds.

The paper, titled 'Unique Identity Project in India: A Divine Dream or a Miscalculated Heroism?' tries to put the UID project in a perspective.

The government of India established Unique ID Authority of India (UIDAI) in January 2009 to execute this largest IT project in the world. The project, it is envisaged, would lay foundation for better delivery of public services and targeted subsidies. It aims to achieve financial inclusion of the poor.

Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI had claimed that 10 crore UIDs would be distributed by March 2011, and 60 crore by March 2014, the WP states.

However, as of 25 November 2010, only 1,53,791 UIDs were generated. This raises doubts about the "optimistic target", it says.

It would be a massive project for implementation, but there are still many technological challenges in creating and managing the database of such a huge population, it adds.

Around five megabytes of data will be required to store the compressed fingerprint images (of all the 10 fingers) of an individual, so the size of the entire database would be at least six petabytes (6,000 terabytes), making it amongst the world's largest databases, according to Professor Dass.

The government of India is expected to spend as much as $250 billion over five years on programmes aimed at the poor, including subsidies for food, diesel, fertiliser, and jobs.

But 40% of the benefits, as the system now stands, will go to the wrong people or "ghosts" with fake identification papers, according to a report by the brokerage firm, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, the WP states.

In view of the huge cost and effort, it becomes essential to put forward a detailed cost-benefit report before the people before initiating and executing such a mammoth task, given that there are other areas of priority, Mr Dass' paper concludes.


Share prices resist global weakness: Monday Closing Report

Uptrend to continue if Nifty stays above 5,550

The market, which opened lower on concerns about the pace of the global recovery, pushed itself into the positive in post-noon trade, on support from the IT, healthcare and banking sectors.

The Sensex opened 32 points lower at 18,344 and the Nifty was down 13 points at 5,504. The market was range-bound in negative territory, weighed down by auto, power and technology stocks and absence of cues from Asia, as most bourses were closed today for local holidays. The market fell to its intra-day low in the mid-morning session with the Sensex touching 18,258 and the Nifty falling to 5,480.

However, bargain hunting after two days of decline lifted the indices into the green. The indices touched their intra-day highs in the last hour with the Nifty at 5,543, adding 26 points to its previous close and the Sensex 83 points higher at 18,459.

The market closed near the day's high, snapping a two-day decline. At the end of trade, the Sensex added 44 points at 18,420 and the Nifty finished 15 points up at 5,532.

Although the market opened weak and the Nifty hit an intra-day low well below its first resistance of 5,550, it managed to make an intra-day high near that level. The Nifty should be able to maintain itself above this level to still see an uptrend. The Nifty should be in a position to sustain itself above the level of 5,435 to avoid the downtrend. The movement between 5,435 and 5,550 will be a range-bound movement.

The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was 687:995.

However, the broader indices ended mixed, with the BSE Mid-cap index falling 0.25%, whereas the BSE Small-cap index gained 0.17%.

BSE IT (up 0.81%), BSE Healthcare (up 0.71%), BSE TECk (up 0.65%), BSE Capital Goods (up 0.60%) and BSE Bankex (up 0.55%) were the sectoral gainers. On the other hand, BSE Metal (down 0.68%), BSE Auto (down 0.55%), BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.36%) suffered losses.

Cipla (up 2.25%), HDFC (up 1.74%), HDFC Bank (up 1.09%), TCS (up 1.01%) and Infosys (up 0.89%) were the top performers on the Sensex, while Jaiprakash Associates (down 2.54%), Hindalco Industries (down 1.61%), Balaji Auto (down 1.53%), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.51%) and ONGC (down 1.51%) ended at the bottom of the index list.

The top gainers on the NSE were Jenson & Nicholson, Marksans Pharma and Jai Balaji Industries while Omkar Speciality Chemicals, KDL Biotech and Paras Petrofils ended as the major losers.

Markets in Asia settled lower on global worries. Tepco, the nuclear power producer in Japan, plunged 28% on reports that the company is expected to post a net loss of around $7.1 billion for the fiscal ending March 2012. Volume was thin as markets in South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan closed for local holidays. However, investors were on watch for further tightening measures by China's central bank.

The Jakarta Composite declined 0.26%, the KLSE Composite fell by 0.49%, the Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.18% and the Straits Times slipped 1.02%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs445.26 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities worth Rs355.51 crore.


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