Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that the government entrusted the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate the corruption allegations levelled against the sports department officials because transferring them would not addressed the problem, PTI reported.

The CBI on Thursday took six people into custody, including Sports Authority of India director SK Sharma and three officials in connection with a case of alleged corruption.

Besides Sharma, junior accounts officer Harinder Prasad, supervisor Lalit Jolly and VK Sharma besides private contractor Mandeep Ahuja and his employee Yunus have also been arrested.

It is alleged that bills of Rs 19 lakh were pending to be cleared by the SAI officials for which a demand of three per cent was being made. “A few months back, we got information that a few officials of sports department have been involved in corruption,” Rathore said on his Twitter page. We could have transferred them but that wouldn’t have been a solution to the problem but only a cover up.”

“We expect the [CBI] agency to take the investigation to the right conclusion and our endeavour is to put an end to any corruption existing in sport. We want to free sport from any sort of corruption. for that matter any ministry and any sort of corruption. We are committing to working and making our system transparent and fair,” the Athens Olympics silver medallist added.

The arrests were made during searches at the sports administrator’s office in Delhi’s Lodhi Road area, they said.

The CBI officials reached the SAI headquarters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium around 5 pm and sealed the entire premises, officials in the SAI said.

It was learnt that the raid was conducted after SAI Director General Neelam Kapur took up the matter with the CBI. ‘’The matter came to light before the SAI Director General six months earlier, after which she informed the sports minister. On the insistence of the minister, the DG wrote to the CBI,’’ an official was quoted as saying by PTI.

The accused staff was responsible for procuring all office stationery and were dealing with tenders of all electronic equipment and furniture required for SAI offices.