IPL's embattled Chairman Lalit Modi was grilled for the second time in two days on Thursday by Income Tax authorities whose sleuths raided offices of two more team owners in the nation-wide probe into its alleged murky finances.
Almost a week after he was first quizzed by Income Tax officials, Modi faced the sleuths for the second time in 24 hours in Mumbai with the probe focussing on a multi-million dollar deal for the telecast rights of Indian Premier League matches.
Officials of the Enforcement Directorate(ED), which is probing whether there was any flow of illegal foreign funds into IPL, were also involved in the joint questioning of Modi that began at 8.30 am at Four Seasons hotel.
Taking forward the cross-country raids, the tax sleuths surveyed the offices of real estate major GMR and Sahara group--the owners of Delhi Daredevils and the new franchisee IPL Pune--in Delhi and Lucknow respectively. Tax sleuths swooped down on offices of four IPL franchisees--Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Deccan Chargers and Kings XI--on Wednesday.
According to ED sources, the teams of the two central agencies collected some documents relating to the IPL franchisees from Modi's office at Four Seasons Hotel in central Mumbai and later questioned him at another office at Nirlon House at Worli.
Modi was later taken to the offices of IPL franchisee Mumbai Indians owned by industrialist Mukesh Ambani at Nariman Point where questioning and verification of documents were still on, sources said.
Last night, IT officials had questioned Modi barely hours after its sleuths searched the premises of three entities associated with IPL.
Modi's questioning last night primarily focussed on the broadcasting rights of IPL after it emerged that a "facilitation fee" of $80 million was paid by Multi-Screen Media to World Sports Group to re-acquire the telecast rights of the league.
During Thursday's inquiry too, Modi was understood to have been asked questions about the payment of a portion of the facilitation fee by MSM to an off-shore company of WSG in Mauritius, a tax haven, allegedly without paying income tax on the transactions in India, sources familiar with the development said.
In Kolkata, Tax sleuths claimed to have found some "incriminating" documents during searches at the offices of Kolkata Knight Riders and Cricket Association of Bengal which went on till 1 am Thursday morning.