The troubles of Dubai-based Sunanda Pushkar may be far from over. The IPL Kochi franchise controversy has already had its first casualty with her friend Shashi Tharoor, being forced to resign from the Union Cabinet.
Though Ms. Pushkar has given up her “sweat equity” in the Kochi franchise voluntarily, the Income Tax Department is not impressed and could come knocking on her door.
Officials associated with the investigations into the Indian Premier League's murky deals were of the view that Ms. Pushkar could be asked to cough up tax on the “sweat equity.”
“There is no provision, as such, of voluntary return of equity. She was allotted sweat equity as a member of the Rendezvous Sports World consortium and as her share came to around 19 per cent, she could have a tax liability of nearly Rs. 20 crore on the Rs. 74 crore amount,” a senior official said.
Since Rendezvous owns 25 per cent of the franchise, Ms. Sunanda's stake is valued at roughly Rs. 74 crore, based on the consortium's bid of over Rs. 1,500 crore.
She is understood to have got the sweat equity in Rendezvous Sports World as a gift in return for professional services to be provided in the future for the company. Her lawyer's statement had clearly established that she earned this stake as part of her business venture.