All aspects of the Indian Premier League are indeed being probed, as stated by Pranab Mukherjee: Lalit Modi will be questioned by income tax on Friday, and the enforcement directorate a few days later.
Modi is currently in Dubai to attend a meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with the world body’s president-elect Sharad Pawar and advisor IS Bindra. Modi tweeted he is “ready to extend all cooperation”.
The income tax will question Modi and the IPL CEO Sundar Raman on the basis of a report it has put together over the last six months on the unnamed owners of the IPL teams. The tax department also believes Modi was involved in betting and outcome of fixing through his associates and companies. He has vehemently denied these allegations calling them “defamatory” and “malicious”.
But the tax department was not backing off. Modi and Rajan will be confronted on the source of funds for the teams, the methods adopted for bidding and premium tickets sold for post-match parties, a source told HT.
Profit and loss accounts of the last three years and each of the franchisees will be sought. These will contain disaggregated revenue details including gate receipts for home matches. The BCCI’s total earning from IPL-III is estimated to be around Rs 1200 crore with an estimated net profit of about Rs 573 crore. The total expenses of IPL’s organisers are pegged at Rs 653 crore this year.
The department will also be looking at allegations of match-fixing, which also figured in Parliament on Monday. “Modi played a role in fixing of matches … players are being auctioned,” said JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP, Shivanand Tiwari.
The enforcement directorate will be looking into the funding of IPL teams from abroad, especially money routed through tax havens such as Mauritius, the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands.
The real target remains Modi, of course. "A list of alleged investments and properties of Modi in foreign countries, including London and Dubai have been identified and would soon be called for questioning," a top directorate officer told HT.
Most IPL teams are under the scanner, said the directorate sources, adding that investments by Modi’s relatives are also being looked into. The ED has been looking into the funding of the Rajasthan Royals since 2008. One of the investors in the Rajasthan Royals is a relative of Modi’s—Suresh Chellaram, who is based in Nigeria. Another relative — Gaurav Burman — is an investor in the Kings XI Punjab.