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CBI closes Narinder Batra corruption probe citing lack of evidence

The accusations on Batra was about executing the renovations without prior approval and fabricating records to cover up fraudulent expenditure.

Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra (Source: Indian Express)

Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra (Source: Indian Express)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 24 May 2024 1:26 PM GMT

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has concluded its investigation into a corruption case involving former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Dhruv Batra and Hockey India Executive Director Cdr R K Srivastava after nearly two years.

The agency stated that it could not find evidence of wrongdoing against them, officials disclosed on Friday. The case dates back to July 2022 when the CBI initiated an FIR following a preliminary enquiry report indicating potential "cognizable offences" such as criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, and corruption allegedly involving Batra.

Alongside him, officials of Hockey India, including former president Rajinder Singh and former secretary general Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, were also booked.

Following over two years of investigation, the CBI found insufficient evidence against Batra, Singh, Ahmad, and Srivastava to file a charge sheet, according to officials. Consequently, the agency has submitted a closure report in the case before a special court in New Delhi. The court will now decide whether to accept the report and close the matter or direct further investigation.

The case stemmed from a complaint alleging Batra's involvement in unauthorized renovations at his IOA office. The FIR accused him of executing the renovations without prior approval, and further alleged fabrication and falsification of records to cover up fraudulent expenditure.

Batra ceased to hold the position of IOA president when the Delhi High Court invalidated the post of 'life member' in Hockey India on May 25, 2022. He officially resigned from the IOA, International Olympic Committee (IOC), and International Hockey Federation (FIH), citing "personal reasons" in handwritten letters.

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