I Have Quit to Stay Clean: Former CWGOC Treasurer

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS): Anil Khanna resigned as treasurer, the pivotal money controller, of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CWGOC) Thursday in the wake of allegations that his son's firm secured contract for laying synthetic courts at R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium, one of the venues for the Oct 3-14 Games.

Khanna is the secretary-general of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), the owner of the stadium.

"I have resigned from the post of CWGOC treasurer. I am taking moral responsibility and quitting. I am not in the process of selection of the turf. I joined CWGOC office in 2010, the tendering process had taken place in December 2009," said Khanna at a press conference at the tennis stadium.

"I was not keen on joining the CWGOC. Suresh Kalmadi requested me to join and I took up the job for the sake of my country. I was working as an advisory figure. I had no financial powers. The CWGOC constitution is such that I could not have spent even a single rupee. I was working as a custodian. In fact, from May 2010, I stopped signing cheques as well.

"My conscience is clean. I have nothing to hide. I am a chartered accountant and known to do things in a proper manner. I am also the president of the Asian Tennis Federation. It is a big responsibility," he said.

Khanna said he had no role in the process of giving contract to Rebound Ace, the company that bagged the contract for laying 14 synthetic surfaces at the stadium. According to media reports, Khanna's son Aditya is the chief executive of the Indian branch of the Australian-based firm.

"The Games should be held in a clean manner. The organising committee consulted three turf companies and the entire tender process was dealt by Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The budget allocated for the 14 courts was Rs.11.9 million and the cost of one court comes to Rs.850,000. The rate was much lesser than what was quoted by Indian companies. The courts are approved by the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) technical team. AITA has no role to play in the selection of companies," he said.

Khanna also said that as reported by the media there is no connection between Rebound Ace Australia and Rebound Ace India, of which his son is the chief-executive.

"Rebound Ace Australia is an independent company and Rebound Ace India is not its subsidiary. Rebound Ace India is just a distributor of the Australian company in India. There are others distributors of Rebound Ace Australia in India as well," he said.

Khanna said he was concerned about the media reports surfacing just before the executive meeting of the CWGOC.

"In April, I said there is more need for corporate governance in the Commonwealth Games. I sought corporate governance during OC meetings. The corruption charges are shocking. I have quit to stay clean," he said.

Khanna also said that Rebound Ace Australia was looking forward to Commonwealth Games and that's why they charged less.

"The government has saved money on laying of the tennis courts. There is a difference between a tennis court and a toilet paper. As far as the performance on the Rebound is concerned, our team won maximum medals on this surface during the Doha Asian Games," he said.




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