Modi quizzed for 8 hrs by I-T men

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi was quizzed for eight hours by I-T officials over financial dealings and share holding patterns of the cricketing body and several places in the city were visited by tax sleuths to find out details of bidding process.

Income Tax officials visited Indian Premier League headquarters at Wankhede Stadium as also Modi’s office at Nirlon House in upmarket Worli, where they quizzed him from 7.15 pm on Thursday till 3.20 am on Friday.

After the tax sleuths left, Modi told reporters, "They (the officials) were given documentation details, they verified the documents and went through the entire process of bidding. We fully cooperated with them and provided them with all they required."

Modi said the officials saw the documents related to bidding by new franchisees owned by Sahara and Kochi consortium as well as those related to other IPL franchisees.

According to I-T sources, the agency, apart from probing the sources bankrolling the cash-flush league, is looking into whether ill-gotten money stashed away in tax havens like Mauritius has made its way into the IPL.

On his quizzing, he said, "The questioning was over in a few minutes, but it took them longer as they had to go through the documents."

"They were very much satisfied. We are a public body and if they have more queries, we will answer them," he said on whether I-T authorities sought more time to question him.

The IPL chief rubbished media reports that his laptop was seized and unaccounted cash recovered from his office. "99 per cent of stories being put out by the media are untrue."

The I-T officials visited several places in the city in a bid to find out details of the bidding process and he said when he came to know of it, he invited them over to his office.

Modi, the brain behind IPL, has been in the eye of a storm ever since he tweeted about Rs 70 crore sweat equity in Kochi franchise being held by Sunanda Pushkar, a friend of Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor.

It triggered speculation about Sunanda being a proxy for Tharoor in the Kochi consortium, a charge which the Minister has vehemently denied.

Raising questions about the propriety over a Union Minister allegedly having a proxy stake in an IPL franchise, the BJP and Left have demanded Tharoor’s resignation.(PTI)

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