Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tax officials question Indian cricket league chair

Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi has been questioned for a second successive day by income tax officials over corruption allegations surrounding the process of awarding a new franchise in the Twenty20 league.

Modi was grilled about a multimillion-dollar television deal for IPL matches, Press Trust of India reported on Thursday.

Investigators also continued their search of the offices of IPL team owners, visiting the New Delhi premises of construction company GMR, the owner of the Delhi Daredevils team, and offices of the Sahara group, which owns the new Pune team franchise.

On Wednesday, tax officials had surveyed the offices of four IPL franchises: Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab.

Meanwhile, the Indian cricket board said the meeting of the IPL's governing council to address the controversy would take place on April 26 despite objections raised by Modi, who wanted to call the meeting on May 1.

Modi could not be immediately reached for comment.

However, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Shashank Manohar, said the meeting would go ahead on Monday, the day after the IPL final in Mumbai.

Modi had questioned the legality of the governing council's meeting saying he alone had the power to convene such a meeting as the IPL chairman.

Modi wanted time until May 1 to compile all documents relating to the funding and ownership of the eight franchises.

The league has been embroiled in controversy ever since Modi revealed the names of the owners of the new $330 million Kochi franchise -- a revelation that led to the resignation of India's junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor amid claims that a 25 percent share in the franchise was given to a group that included a friend of Tharoor's.

It was alleged the friend's shares were really intended as a hidden gift to Tharoor.

The IPL launched in 2008, featuring eight city-based franchises. Two new teams, including Kochi, will join the league from 2011.

No comments: