The Income Tax department plans to enlarge its current inquiry into the Indian Premier League's (IPL) financial transactions to cover all the franchises amidst allegations of murky deals even as it questioned the 'mystery' woman and Vijay Mallya's daughter who works for IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi.
Laila Mahmood, the step daughter of Mallya who owns the Royal Challengers Bangalore team, was identified as the woman who exited Modi's office in a plush hotel in Mumbai minutes before I-T officials visited it for probe on Thursday.
The IT authorities probing various aspects of the IPL controversy have been able to ascertain the identity of the 'mystery' woman as Laila, a source in the department told PTI.
Mallya also said in a statement that "my step daughter Laila Mahmood works for Lalit Modi. I know nothing about this. I called Lalit Modi and he confirmed that she has given a statement to Income Tax."
Suspecting that the woman, who was seen carrying what appeared like a laptop and some documents, might have carried away some important documents, the IT authorities got into action and identified her.
Notwithstanding claims by IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi that it was routine questioning on Thursday by officials at the premises of BCCI and his office in Mumbai, I-T department sources said the special team has prepared a voluminous report on the operations and sent it to the Finance Ministry in Delhi.
Top sources said that in the wake of the report, plans were afoot to summon representatives of the various IPL team owners for questioning and for production of teams.
It may also include search operations on their officials premises, the source said adding it could be a long process, the sources said.
Officially there has been no no word on the operations in Mumbai but sources said the department in Mumbai has been asked to carry out further inquiries and, if necessary, even surveys and raids on IPL premises and those of its franchises.
"We are widening our inquiry. However, it will take some time before we obtain all details about IPL's transactions," the sources said.
Earlier indications were that only the new franchisees Kochi and Pune could be investigated but now the department may be expected to scrutinise the bid process of all the franchises in the wake of allegations about the sourcing of the funds of the teams.