More IPL dirt: Govt seeks probe into black money play

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 22, 2012 02:04 IST

Spot-fixing, the Shah Rukh Khan stadium brawl and ban, molestation charges, rave parties and now black money — the Indian Premier League (IPL) continues to hurtle from one controversy to another.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and income tax department have been asked to probe the presence of black money in the cash-rich league, sports minister Ajay Maken told Lok Sabha on Monday. The investigation comes even as the government has sought Rs 1,522 crore from the Board of Control for Cricket In India for alleged tax evasion.

Sports secretary Pradeep K Deb wrote to the finance ministry last week seeking a probe of IPL players receiving money through illegal channels, resulting in “serious implications”, Maken said.

The letter on financial irregularities in the BCCI and IPL — accessed by HT — says the ED has issued 19 showcause notices for violations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act amounting to Rs 1,077 crore. Five are against the Rajasthan Royals and the rest against the BCCI.

The biggest tax evasion amount against the BCCI is Rs 243.45 crore for payments made during IPL-2 matches in South Africa.

“Certain other contraventions have been revealed in connection with transactions between the BCCI and the State Bank of Travancore, Jaipur branch, in relation to remittances made and received by the board,” the ED has said in a confidential note to the government.

The letter also expresses concern over Rs 375 crore in income tax demanded from the BCCI after 2006, when its I-T exemption was revoked. So far, Rs 231 crore has been recovered from the board.

The subject came up in the House when the BJP’s Kirti Azad, a former cricketer, demanded a special audit of the IPL and BCCI by an independent agency when finance minister Pranab Mukherjee raised the black money issue.

Maken said a possible way out was bringing the BCCI under Right to Information, like other national sports federations. His draft bill envisaging the same is in limbo due to the government’s political compulsions.

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