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Apr 25, 2010 at 12:05am IST

I-T traces 'proxy' stakes owned by Modi kin

New Delhi: The Income Tax department has found evidence of benami (proxy) investments in Rajasthan Royals. The I-T officials are now looking into investment by IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi's brother-in-law Suresh Chellaram in the team.

The I-T is investigating all teams that have routed money through Mauritius, especially through two companies formed in 2008. It has also received bid process documents of all IPL franchisees in connection with their source of equity, equity distribution, share holding patterns, player auctions, contracts and the bidding process.

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Jay Mehta defended Modi, saying he's been made a fall guy. Mehta also defended overseas investments in the IPL teams.

I-T traces 'proxy' stakes owned by Modi kin

KKR co-owner says Modi is being made a fall guy while Rajasthan govt has filed a criminal complaint against him.

He said: "They are allegations until they are proved. He (Modi) cannot be called guilty. I think it is unfair how point by point they are trying to go for Lalit. One allegation after another, he is being made the fall guy. Eventually he was telling his friends to invest, this will be a great opportunity and people who beleieved did invest."

"The fact that Suresh owns a stake in Rajasthan Royals has been known from day one. Similarly, for King's XI, Gaurav Burman owns a stake was known. If someone's an NRI and he has structured his investment from overseas, we are not breaking the law. Most investments from overseas do come in through Mauritiuis because there is a double taxation agreement. And that is allowed in law. You can't say that every company based out of Mauritius is fraudulent."

"The I-T officials have got copies of our balance sheets. We're more than happy to let them come, check our accounts. I don't think they have found anything wrong in anything," added Mehta.

However, more troubles seem to be in store for Modi. A criminal complaint has been filed against him, his wife and eight others for illegal purchase of two heritage building in Jaipur in 2007.

This came after a probe by the state government confirmed that the two havelis (palaces) were indeed government properties and cannot be sold to private entities. The matter will now come up for hearing on Monday.

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