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IPL irregularities: Sports Mini gets reply from ED

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has informed the Sports Ministry that its probe in the alleged financial irregularities in various editions of the T20 IPL cricket was progressing and was at the adjudication level. The Sports Ministry, on the directions of its Minister Ajay Maken, had written a letter to the ED on May 17 seeking a speedy probe in the cash-rich tournament and the status of its action in the case.

"The Ministry has got a response from the ED and they have informed that the cases of alleged violations under the forex rules have entered the adjudication stage. The penal processes will begin soon in the notices sent under FEMA laws," sources privy to the development said.

The ED has also stated the number of notices executed and the amounts that it had raised in these documents sent to the Sports Ministry. Maken, a few months back, had also informed the Lok Sabha that 19 notices have been issued to IPL and BCCI for FEMA violations to the tune of Rs 1,077 crore. These notices were issued by the ED. The IPL had recently come under cloud with a sting operation leading to suspension of five domestic Indian cricketers on charges of alleged spot fixing in the recent edition of the tournament.

The ED, which is probing the case primarily under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), has sent the IPL cases to the competent authority, which in a number of cases, is the Special Director rank officer of the probe agency. Maken had asked the Revenue department, which is under the Finance Ministry, to get the allegations of financial irregularities in the domestic and foreign editions of the IPL thoroughly probed by the Income Tax department and the ED.

In an earlier communication to Revenue Secretary R S Gujral`s office, Sports Secretary Pradeep K Deb had said his ministry had been informed that tax demands had been raised on the BCCI for Rs 118 crore (2007-08) and Rs 257 crore (2008-09) after the I-T department withdrew exemptions granted to it under charitable purposes clause. The BCCI is contesting the notices before an IT Appellate Tribunal.

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