The Income Tax department on Friday widened its search operations bringing under its scanner Kings XI Punjab team as part of its countrywide probe into the IPL bidding process and the source of funding of the teams.
A team of five I-T officials, including two deputy directors, visited the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) office in nearby Mohali, which houses the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab.
“We are conducting a survey operation to look into and verify the IPL account suspected to be maintained here,” Director (Investigation) of the I-T Department, Panchkula Pawan Parmar, told PTI.
This operation is being done under Section 131 A of the Income Tax Act, she said, adding that the survey was undertaken in the light of the action taken by the department in Mumbai where the IPL headquarters is located.
There were also reports that similar exercises were undertaken at Rajasthan Royals office in Jaipur and in the office of one of the owners of Kochi franchise in Bangalore but there was no confirmation.
A senior I-T official in New Delhi said the department may undertake nationwide operations to widen their probe.
“Once we have the understanding of the bidding process and the investment patterns of these franchisees, a nation-wide operation will be launched to ascertain and check tax evasion and money laundering in the entire process,” he said.
Treasurer of the PCA G.S. Walia told PTI that the Income Tax officials had come to the stadium as part of their countrywide drive to collect data relating to the IPL.
Meanwhile, BCCI's top brass held an informal discussion on the issue in Dharamshala on Friday night.
“The matter was discussed informally among the members of the IPL Governing Council. No decision on the future course of action has yet been taken. We will continue to have discussion,” a top BCCI source told PTI.
BCCI president Shashank Manohar, secretary N. Srinivasan, IPL vice-chairman Niranjan Shah, chairman of the media and finance committee Rajiv Shukla and council members Chirayu Amin and Arun Jaitely were present in Dharamsala.
Mr. Modi told reporters at the Gaggle airport that there would be no special meeting on the issue.