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I-T Finds Lalit Modi Link To 80cr Private Jet Deal

Former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi seems to be avoiding repeated summons from Income Tax department, reports Times of India.  The report says, investigators are closing in on Modi's links with an alleged payoff
PTI September 01, 2010 10:01 IST
PTI
Former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi seems to be avoiding repeated summons from Income Tax department, reports Times of India.  

The report says, investigators are closing in on Modi's links with an alleged payoff in terms of a facilitation fee paid to the Mauritius-based World Sports Group (WSG).   

Modi has left for London and is staying out of reach of a probe that could be getting too hot for him. His non-compliance may have been triggered by the questioning of his close associates, including secretary Deepa Palekar in Mumbai last week. Palekar was asked about a payment of nearly Rs 80 crore made in the purchase of a private jet.  

Sources said an I-T probe has been able to link the aircraft purchase - extensively used by Modi as his private transport - to the Rs 425 crore "facilitation fee" paid to WSG by Multi Screen Media (MSM), formerly Sony Entertainment TV, for media rights of IPL matches. It is understood that Sony has given evidence of a payment it believes should have been made to BCCI.  

The "payoff" was part of renegotiation of IPL's TV rights contract with MSM. WSG was given the rights for 10 years with a bid of $918 million. Following a dispute, WSG's contract with MSM was scrapped. The question arose as to why after renegotiation, MSM paid $80 million or Rs 425 crore to WSG.  

The I-T probe found WSG had only $1 as share capital. It had entered into a back-to-back deal with MSM where Modi allegedly played a vital role in negotiation.  

This is a major breakthrough in IPLgate probe with first links of an alleged payoff of Rs 100 crore being sourced to the beneficiaries.