Author: Anubha Kumar, a student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad


The paper discusses and delves into the biggest scam which took place in 2010 in India. It focuses on rendering a detailed structure of the scam and misuse of money on a large scale. Problems, challenges, and inefficient management by the committee responsible for the functioning of the events have been showcased in the paper. It highlights various malpractices against the accused and accountable persons. It also gives a brief study of the impact of the scam that had resulted in debates and losses in the county. It aims to provide an analysis of the allegations and liability of the organizing committee. The research paper aims to prepare a study of the revolvement around the scandal. Different implications of the scam and their showcase have been discussed with analysis and proper evaluation has been done in the research paper.


Commonwealth Games is conducted every four years with different host countries consisting of various sports competitions and activities at an international level. Many countries participate and bring home the shiny medals representing their countries with pride. Such pride is often attributed to the outlook of the country. In 2002, India proposed hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in the country’s capital New Delhi. In the name of creating a big name for the Commonwealth Games, the biggest scam took place in India. A disgrace that caused humiliation of the CWG held in India and around the globe. 

What happened?

The scam had involved a fraud of about 70,000 crores being used erratically. It was projected that Indian athletes received only half of the allocated sum. According to reports, the athletes were asked to move from the authorized flats to decrepit ones. It was observed that the chairman of the organizing committee, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi was charged with accusations of fraud, cheating, and criminal conspiracy and making an agreement with Swiss Timings for its timing equipment being expensive at the rate of 95 crores when the budget initially proposed was 1000 crores only.  Later the budget was increased to a whopping amount of 2460 crores in addition to the allotment of the location. Despite the escalation of the amount proposed, the chairman had overflowed the amount up to 11,500 crores. Various DTC buses, metro charges used for transport facilities, and miscellaneous products and decorations were also spent at a high scale which ultimately led the budget to 70,000 crores. Many complaints about the lodging facilities and their cleanliness duties were also showcased and were reported to be a fraudulent system of conducting an event.

       Problems & Difficulties

  1. Inefficient infrastructure facilities-

It was noticed that for the venue and lodging an enormous investment was spent however the tables were turned around leading to one of the biggest difficulties for the athletes. Observations like unfair wage cutbacks, uncivil work hours, and unfavorable working conditions were all utilized to mistreat the appointed infrastructure workers. Twelve days before the event, a footbridge collapsed at the games’ location which raised many questions about the athletes’ and spectators’ safety. 

  1. Inefficient Transportation – 

A DTC Bus service that was used for the transportation facilities for the athletes in Delhi to reach the venue at the location in Delhi had also caused inconvenience with the questionability of its price. Originally, the price was estimated at 40 lakhs however it had reached 60 lakhs thereby wasting money relentlessly on the transportation costs. For metro charges, an amount of 3000 crores on the metro line of Delhi and increasing the money with spending a huge amount on each pillar despite the original cost.

  1. Unhygienic lodging facilities-

An endless number of photos were showcased in media because of a lack of due care and sanitation work by the hotels and lodging places of the athletes. There were photos witnessing dog paw-prints on the bedsheets of the room, Paan-stains in the sinks of the washroom, unhygienic washrooms, or washrooms having muddy stains inside the washroom. Such improper management had caused great inconvenience on the part of the hotel and the organizing committee responsible for it. Athletes from different countries had witnessed these and registered complaints for not taking proper and reasonable care resulting into causing a state of humiliation on the part of India in hosting a multi-level sport at an international level.

  1. Miscellaneous facilities- 

An amount of 70 crores was merely spent on the decorations and lighting of the stadium for the games while the initial cost was worth 40 crores. These were made in a contract with a UK-based company that had proposed the initial cost. Nevertheless, the organizing committee had erratically bought it for 70 crores for a grand opening of the Commonwealth Games being held for the first time in India. 

  1. Absence of contract by the Chairman-

Mr. Suresh Kalmadi had made agreements with the different corporations that were merely awarded on a first-come service or bids on a nomination basis. These agreements were proposed by some negotiations due to a lack of transparency. The majority of the contracts were unfair and undesirable. In addition, it highlighted “undue concessions” to a private corporation, “unwarranted relaxation” to a contractor, and the weakening of parameters to prevent competition. These contracts were made in haste with no sufficient legal parameters being fulfilled and spending an unhealthy amount of money on commodities not required.  


  1. Criminal Conspiracy: An agreement was made by Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman who was charged with criminal conspiracy with Swiss Timings, a Swiss corporation. It was alleged that there was purportedly “illegal” granting of Swiss Timing an installation contract for keeping a record of the Timing, Scoring, and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 CWG at exorbitant prices causing such loss of money in wrong places by such unfair terms. He was charged under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code,1860 for such conspiracy in addition to Section 201 which involved destruction of evidence. The Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a chargesheet against the Chairman in 2011.
  1. Cheating: Under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860, it was held that even after uprearing the budget of 70,000 crores, only a half-portion was spent on the athletes. Forging Documents and passing them on with their increase in the price of equipment for transportation and other related costs. It was also alleged that it violated guidelines under the Central Vigilance Commission and the Ministry of Urban Development. Several falsified companies and bank accounts were created thereby abusing the official’s power in Games.
  1. Fraud: It was known to be one of the largest frauds in the history of the financial sector. Several instances of misappropriation of the amount of money were being used and its high-scale value. From the initial estimate, the final amount rose to 100 times the estimated amount. The revenue that the CWG Organising Committee spent on purchasing and preparing was unreasonably excessive. Preparation delays, poor management in the sales of tickets, and irregularities in the opening ceremony owing to the lack of vigilance by the committee responsible.
  1. Corruption Practices: This event was not only contributed by a lack of negligence but also a handsome amount of money being used in a spectrum of corrupt practices. Materials and supplies were purchased from businesses that over-quoted, as in place of choosing the ones that provided the most favorable deals. For undetermined reasons, companies with better offers were rejected. Charges were framed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in addition to sections 467,468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code. 
  1. Money Laundering: The Enforcement Directorate issued an order to attach the construction company’s assets in conjunction with the money laundering in the scam. It highlighted that the organizing committee of the CWG had subverted the TSR system bid process, resulting in an advantage for the Swiss Timing and companies and a loss for the OC worth Rs. 95 crores. It was also known that Fraudulent invoices concerning work contracts, cable supplies, and other items were filed, and the revenue was embezzled. The organizing committee was held liable under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for taking undue advantage of the money deposited mainly for the Commonwealth Games and irrationally increasing the budget for it.

Judgment by the Court

It was held that in 2017, the Chairman of the organizing committee, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi along with nine others was held liable for cheating and criminal conspiracy in the Scam. 4 officials of the committee were convicted for the charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy of loss which had amounted to 1.4 crores without any legal process and were sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 4 years. The Secretary-General, Lalit Bhanot, and Director General, Mr. V K Verma were held accountable for corruption practices and playing a definite role in the scam which had resulted in the escalation of costs and revenue, thereby escalating the budget to 70,000 crores in India.

Impact of the scam

  1. Social Impact- 

Although thousands of crores were spent on athletic events that benefited just a tiny percentage of the population, it deflected attention and resources away from the urgent concerns of the Indian people, notably poverty, medical care, healthcare, and the environment. It had caused public outrage in the nation, causing a lack of trust in the hosting and organizing committee of India. It also resulted in infringing the rights of the poor community and making a stigma of benefit for the upper class in society. It also resulted in causing wasteful management of resources that could have been used in a lesser budget uniformly. It lost credibility due to poor organization and embarked questions on the values and culture of the committee. 

  1. Humiliation of India’s reputation-

Inconveniences and problems faced by the spectators regarding the mismanagement of the lodging facilities had created in harming the reputation of the organizers of the event and that of India. The allegations that were displayed in the media tarnished India’s image in hosting an international event for the first time. It’s lack of transparency in hosting an event to signify its rising power in a global atmosphere. Several delays, unhygienic facilities, and construction problems led to the embarrassment of the Indian sports committee.  It revealed practices of corruption and fraudulent acts by the committee resulting in a big scandal thereby humiliating the nation’s reputation.

  1. Financial Instability- 

Due to a high-scale budget of billions of dollars, it amounted to the loss of revenues and services in the financial sectors. The money that was attributed to the public funds was wastefully used erroneously. It had also caused losses to the sector as several complaints of mismanagement, less number of tourists, and huge delays were witnessed. Due to the scam, fraudulent and forged contracts were taken into account embarking legal actions against the accused. The precious money was not taken with due care and reasonableness, thus amounting it to be overpriced and causing an impact on the financial stability of the country.


Delving into the scam that took place in 2010 did not escape any accusations and resulted in causing the biggest scandal in the sports center of India. It uncovered widespread corruption and incompetency in the planning and implementation of the major athletic events in New Delhi. The scheme encompassed several officials and contractors falsifying contracts, breaking rules, fabricating paperwork, and embezzling money, which resulted in a significant loss to government treasuries and harm to India’s reputation. In addition to exposing the lack of candor and responsibility in the CWG organizing committee’s procedures, the fraud additionally uncovered the primary accused in the case to be Suresh Kalmadi. Many issues and challenges concerning the need and viability of holding such large-scale events were questioned specifically in a growing nation like India. Requisite changes and actions to ensure sustainable transparency and avoid corruption activities were also encompassed to not repeat such grave scams in India thereby ensuring smooth and corruption-free events taking place at a big scale. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *