I-T to probe IPL rights, Modi wrongs | delhi | Hindustan Times
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I-T to probe IPL rights, Modi wrongs

delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2010 01:16 IST
Anand Vasu
Anand Vasu
Hindustan Times
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There's fresh trouble brewing for Lalit Modi and, perhaps, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

They have to respond to the Income Tax department's detailed questionnaire on all the rights sold by the IPL, including big-ticket TV deals, in-stadia advertising and hospitality rights.

They have also been asked to furnish details on the two rounds of bidding for the teams, including amounts paid, bank guarantees furnished and even particulars of the failed bidders.

A number of government enforcement agencies have been probing Modi, the suspended Indian Premier League chairman — and by extension the BCCI — for several months now, over alleged irregularities in the running of the billion-dollar plus league.

With Modi, it is alleged misuse of power that is being investigated — from travelling only in luxury cars paying exorbitant rates to using the plush Four Seasons hotel as an IPL office and to entertain guests, to more serious issues relating to the allotment of teams to certain interest groups and the allocation of various IPL rights.

In the first auction in 2008, there were eight successful bidders, the original IPL franchises, plus unsuccessful bids from Deutsche Bank, Emeralds Telecom, DLF and, late bids from Sahara India, the Future Group and ICICI Ventures, which were disqualified.

In 2010, two additional teams (Pune and Kochi) were sold in a fractious process that included several bidders being turned away and a subsequent controversy that resulted in Shashi Tharoor resigning as Minister of State for External Affairs. The Board also has to explain how it shared revenues from IPL with franchises.

This is the second summons issued by the IT Department's Intelligence Wing, which first sought information from the BCCI on June 28. Despite several meetings and exchanges with the BCCI, no concrete information has been provided yet, and the IT department is clearly not happy.

The fresh summons, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, specifically asks the Board to furnish details of all accounts with Golden Wings Pvt Ltd, a tour company, and name officials who used the company's services during the IPL. It also asks for details of all payments made to the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai since January 1, 2008, before the IPL began.

HT had reported on June 26 on how Modi's ground transport bills (in excess of Rs 40 lakh) and his accommodation bills at the Four Seasons (total bill 1.2 crore, Rs 38 lakh of which needs further explanation) were not passed by the Board's working committee when it met in Mumbai on July 3.

The Mumbai High Court is to hear Modi's petition on his recent troubles with the BCCI on Wednesday, and the Board's disciplinary committee is expected to reveal its findings by month-end.