Tax probe against BCCI begins; Modi's exit most likely | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Tax probe against BCCI begins; Modi's exit most likely

Caught in the Modi-Tharoor crossfire, the BCCI has come under I-T scanner. The Income Tax department has issued a notice to the board asking it to reply by tomorrow. Modi denies betting allegations

delhi Updated: Apr 19, 2010 17:07 IST

Caught in the Modi-Tharoor crossfire, the BCCI has come under I-T scanner. The Income Tax department has issued a notice to the board asking it to reply by Tuesday.

I-T sleuths are probing financial irregularities related to Indian Premier League. The department has also withdrawn the tax exemption that BCCI enjoyed.

In the first round of probe, teams such as Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab will be investigated as they are beleived to have links with Lalit Modi.

The BCCI's top brass has more or less made up its mind to remove the IPL Commissioner who triggered a political storm and brought the BCCI under the Income Tax scanner and Lalit Modi's days as the IPL Commissioner appear to be numbered.

The stand against Modi has hardened over the last few days as the rapidly-developing events surrounding Kochi franchise's stakeholding pattern has opened a pandora's box about financial irregularities in the IPL.

Modi himself is under fire for allegedly helping his family and friends buy stakes in various IPL teams.

His tweets about Kochi's shareholding created a political storm as it emerged that Minister of State for External Affair
Shashi Tharoor's close friend Sunanda Pushkar had a sweat equity worth Rs 70 crore. Tharoor had to resign, while Pushkar
also gave up her stake in Kochi franchise.

"Modi's exit is a foregone conclusion. The BCCI members are extremely unhappy in the manner in which he brought about this controversy," a top BCCI source told PTI.

"Never in the history of BCCI has the Income Tax sleuths raided the offices. It has not only tarnished the image of the
Board but has also sullied the IPL brand," the source said.

Support for the beleaguered Modi, who is in Dubai to attend an ICC Executive Board meeting, appears to be dwindling
within the BCCI.

Though heavyweight Sharad Pawar is said to be backing Modi, none of the other bigwigs seem to be in the mood to
defend him this time around.

Tharoor's resignation from the government has also led to intense speculation that the centre would target Modi now and
the BCCI does not want to be caught in the cross-fire. BCCI spokesman Rajiv Shukla, however, maintains that the
issue will be discussed and reports of Modi being downsized are a mere media speculation.

"All the allegations (against Modi) and other issues would be discussed in the Governing Council meeting. "BCCI Working Committee meeting has been postponed to May 2 because all things have to be discussed in the Governing Council meeting first. There is no point in having a Working Committee meeting before that," added the BCCI Media and Finance Committee chairman.

The Governing Council meeting is expected to be held on April 2, a day after the final of the IPL. No date has yet
been officially announced.

Modi detractors have already prepared the groundwork to ease him out of the Commissioner's post. There has also been talk of passing a resolution in the council meeting to remove him but no confirmation could be obtained.