Parliamentary committee not satisfied with BCCI replies

first_imgThe Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance was on Wednesday unsatisfied with the answers given by top officials of the Indian cricket board over the “route” of the huge investments made by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees.Officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were stumped when questioned about the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation by the franchisees.The Yashwant Sinha headed committee has decided that the report it would soon prepare would be “critical” of the Shashank Manohar headed Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for turning a blind eye to the rule violations. Sources close to the meeting said that members of the parliamentary panel were unsatisfied with the replies given during the two- hour meeting.”They were not at all satisfied. None of the BCCI officials could clarify what they were asked. So the committee felt that there’s no point in calling them again,” a source told MAIL TODAY. “The committee will prepare a report soon and will be surely critical of the board. The report will be submitted to Parliament and it will then go to the finance ministry for further action,” he said.The panel members pointed out that the BCCI had not taken permission from the Reserve Bank of India and Income Tax Department for opening and operating a foreign current account in South Africa when the second edition of the IPL was shifted there as the tournament clashed with the general election in India.According to the source, the parliamentary committee also pointed out to BCCI officials that the government has already found Parliamentary committee not satisfied with BCCI replies that investments made by some IPL franchisees have been traced to locations in Mauritius, Bahamas and British Virgin Island. This government report had named Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians.advertisementAfter Manohar, invoking his extraordinary powers as president, suspended IPL chairman Modi in April for alleged financial irregularities, the BCCI came down heavily on two franchisees – Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.Manohar also launched an inquiry into Modi’s acts by the board’s disciplinary committee and the probe is still on, but the former IPL chairman has so far avoided facing the panel as he has not returned to India since April.The parliamentary panel also pointed out that opening and operating an account along with the Cricket South Africa would be construed as a FEMA violation because the account was handled and operated by the BCCI without express permission. It also questioned the methods of payment to the Indian and foreign players by the franchisees.In their defence, the board officials made a presentation showing how the money was invested and managed in the IPL as well as the BCCI. They also tried to steer clear of the controversy, saying that the IPL was being controlled by Lalit Modi, who was at the time chairman of its governing council, and that they allowed him to manage the league in ” good faith”. The board officials have been giving this excuse for the malpractices committed in the IPL and they repeated themselves again before the parliamentary panel.But the committee members refused to buy their argument.Chirayu Amin, who succeeded Modi as IPL chairman, was also present at the meeting, held at the Parliament building, along with BCCI treasurer MP Pandove, chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty, IPL CEO Sundar Raman, and vice- president Rajeev Shukla.But, according to sources, they failed to withstand the sharp questioning. “The committee told the BCCI officials that the violations committed by them could start criminal proceedings against them. One of them pointedly told them that breaking FEMA rules could land them in prison,'” the source said.”Probably for the first time ever, the BCCI officials were sheepish and defensive.”last_img

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