Nationwide IPL crackdown, SRK, Preity teams feel the heat

Nationwide IPL crackdown, SRK, Preity teams feel the heat

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New Delhi:  After coordinated inquiries in several cities that are home to Indian Premier League franchises yesterday, the Income Tax department will now monitor the IPL awards ceremony in Mumbai to look into the money spent on it.

The contract given to the event management company and that for the television rights will also be scrutinised.

The IPL awards ceremony will be held in Mumbai tomorrow, April 23.

The source of the funding of the IPL and those connected with it, including celebrity team owners, are being carefully scrutinised by the government, which is trying to locate the deep, deep pockets of what's been dubbed the Indian Paisa League.

Income tax inquiries were conducted at different cities on Wednesday, all home to different IPL franchises. Those close to Lalit Modi, the IPL Commissioner who triggered the IPL explosion with a series of tweets on the ownership of one of its teams, say that the tax questions are aimed at disconcerting team-owners, who have so far supported Modi in his battle to stay on as IPL chairman. But there are enough people who argue there is no hidden agenda; this is what the government promised in Parliament - uncovering legal violations and corruption - in the billion dollar league.

In Chandigarh, home to the Kings XI Punjab, a court has summoned Zinta, Wadia , and their co-owner Mohit Burman, on July 23. The reason: they have failed so far to provide their balance sheets and details of their accounts.

In Kolkata, income tax officials visited the offices of Shah Rukh's Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), located within the headquarters of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).

In Mumbai, IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi was questioned again at the Four Seasons Hotel where he's staying about a multi-million dollar contract for the broadcasting rights of IPL.

In Chennai, an Income Tax survey was carried out by nearly 40 officials at the office of India Cements, which owns the Chennai Super Kings. N Sreenivasan, who owns India Cements, is also the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Working on a three-pronged inquiry into the source of funds of all IPL team-owners, the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax officials and the Corporate Affairs Ministry are conducting detailed checks on the financial transactions of all teams. Foreign exchange violations are allegedly being uncovered, with funding coming in from tax havens like Mauritius.

Early on Wednesday, the Income Tax officials today conducted "surveys" as tax officials call them, at four different locations, including the offices of the two groups who hold the rights to telecasting IPL matches: World Sports Group and Sony Multi Screen Media (MSM). Tax officials also visited the home of the WSG Chairman, Venu Nair. The tax officials are trying to connect the dots between these groups and IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi amid allegations of kickbacks. (Read & watch: IPL inquiry: Income Tax officials visit broadcasters' offices)

The Mumbai Indians franchise, meanwhile, has filed its IPL equity holding pattern. According to the filing made public today, 98.3 per cent of the equity of the Mumbai Indians franchise, IndiaWin Sports Pvt Ltd, is held by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL) and the remaining 1.7 per cent is held by Teesta Retail Pvt Ltd. (Read: Mumbai Indians declare equity holdings)

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