Mumbai: Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi was on Thursday questioned by Income Tax (I-T) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials at his office in Four Seasons Hotel in the country’s business capital.
As details of the questioning are still awaited, I-T officials in Kolkata probing alleged financial irregularities in the cash-rich IPL claimed to have found some “incriminating” documents during searches at the offices of Kolkata Knight Riders and Cricket Association of Bengal.
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The searches that began Wednesday evening went on for eight hours and ended at 1am during when the CAB office bearers, including its joint secretary Biswarup Dey were questioned.
“We have some incriminating documents related to IPL and KKR. We will further investigate its nature and all transactions of IPL, KKR and CAB,” Akhilendu Jadhav, an IT official, told reporters in the wee hours.
KKR was among the four Indian Premier League(IPL) franchisees whose offices were surveyed during a nation-wide probe by tax sleuths on Wednesday. The offices of Chennai Super Kings, Deccan Chargers and Kings XI were searched in Chennai, Hyderabad and Gurgaon respectively.
“We are satisfied with our inquiry. This is a lengthy process and if needed we will come back again,” an IT official said when asked whether they have plans to conduct a similar raid at the office of CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Dey said they had complied with all the details and documents that were asked for by the taxmen.
The IT authorities are investigating the entire IPL structure, which has become a huge revenue-earning entity for the BCCI, since its inception in 2008.
Reacting to the ongoing IPL controversy, Nationalist Congress Party chief and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar’s daughter and lawmaker Supriya Sule on Thursday said her husband and his family were being defamed by some people in connection with the controversy and that he will be taking legal action in this regard.
“My husband (Sadanand Sule) is talking to lawyers to take appropriate legal action against those who are trying to defame our name,” Sule told reporters outside Parliament.
She was referring to media reports that Sadanand Sule holds a stake through power of attorney from his father B.R. Sule in telecasting agency of IPL, Multi Screen Media (formerly Sony Entertainment Television).
Asked if the Congress was behind the campaign, she said, “No, Congress is our ally and we have come together not for cricket but to serve the nation.”
On a media report that Praful Patel’s personal secretary had sent a mail to former Union minister Shashi Tharoor with a document containing projections of new franchisee valuations in IPL, she asked, “Was it a confidential (document) or classified that should not have passed on to others?”
In Lucknow, I-T officials conducted a raid on Thursday at the headoffice of the Sahara Group, owner of IPL Pune team and scoured through documents related to the tournament.
A 12-member team came to the office at about 2pm and examined documents related to IPL, company sources said.
However, company officials maintained that it was “not a raid but a routine survey” by the department.
“They had sought time to examine the IPL papers,” they said.
Following the controversy over IPL Kochi franchise, I-T officials had on Wednesday swooped down on the offices of other IPL franchisees like Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab.
Business conglomerate Sahara had in March this year bagged Pune, one of the two new teams unveiled in the cash-awash Twenty20 League from the 2011 season.