ibnlive » India

Apr 17, 2010 at 06:47pm IST

I-T probe starts, noose tightens around IPL

New Delhi: The Income Tax department has submitted its preliminary report on the IPL investigation to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Technically, tax officials did not raid the IPL premises in Mumbai two days ago. It was just a search operation. IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi may look unfazed but there is a lot of data which has come into the possession of Income Tax officials and next week notices would be served to IPL franchisees.

"Under Section 133B of Income Tax Act, its officers can just collect information," says tax expert Subhash Lakhotia.

A preliminary report on the survey has also been made ready. It has even been forwarded to the Finance Minister. Mukherjee is away and could not go through the report, but it seems there are two parts to that report.

The first part contains an account of the IPL's income while the second part shows an early investigation of the benami (unknown) owners of a few franchisees.

The tax officials have reportedly unearthed quite a bit of information. There is enough to call for a detailed investigation into the finances of the different franchisees and the deals that appear to have been struck.

Tax officials want to unmask the real owners who are said to be hiding behind a few prominent faces in different franchisees. The tax officials can find out enough which will help the government regularise the IPL's finances and plug existing loopholes.

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