Citizens' Issues
ED issues notice to BCCI, IPL for Rs425 crore alleged forex violations in media contract

According to ED, the payment of Rs425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius was made in an alleged unauthorised manner for cricketing media rights contract in 2009

 

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a Rs425 crore show cause notice against Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Indian Premier League (IPL), their officials and private companies for alleged contravention of forex laws in awarding a cricketing media rights contract in 2009.
 
The notices have been issued to close to 10 individuals and entities,  including former BCCI chief N Srinivasan, the then IPL Chairman Lalit Modi, chief operating officer (COO) Sunder Raman, and the officials of World Sports Group (WSG) and Multi Screen Media (MSM) for allegedly and fraudulently “manipulating” the contract and hence making illegal payments.
 
The development comes at a time when the latest edition of IPL players’ auction is underway in Bangalore on Monday.
 
The deal dates back to 2008 when the BCCI awarded the 10-year media rights to WSG on payment of $918 million. In the same year, WSG also entered into a deal with Multi Screen Media to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced a year later with a nine-year deal where Multi Screen paid $1.63 billion.
 
The ED stepped in this case in 2009 and began a probe under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate allegations that payment of Rs425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius was made in an alleged unauthorised manner.
 
It detected, sources said, that the deal payments were made to “unauthorised beneficiaries” and not the cricketing regulating bodies as per the terms and rules enshrined in the contract.
 
The agency has now show-caused, sources said, those officials in these organisations who were at the helm and signatories to the contract deal as it probed and detected that FEMA and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) laws were “contravened” in the final execution of this deal.
 
The agency has issued the final notices after which all the notices are allowed to appeal against the order within a period of 45 days or else pay the charged amount as mentioned in the notice.
 
The ED, sources said, has earlier recorded statements of various entities involved in this deal and the Special Director and the Adjudicating Authority now issued these notices.
 

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IPL auction: Yuvraj Singh sold to Delhi Daredevils for record Rs16 crore

Delhi Daredevils bought Yuvraj Singh for a record Rs16 crore while Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was bought by RCB at Rs10.5 crore. Mumbai Indians bought Australian opener Aaron Finch for Rs3.20 crore

 

Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh set a new record as he emerged as the costliest ever buy in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by going for a whopping Rs16 crore to Delhi Daredevils in the eighth players' auction.
 
In a relatively low key auction, Yuvraj triggered an unexpected bidding war with four teams vying for the 33-year-old cricketer's services before Delhi clinched the deal for a record price.
 
Yuvraj, who had been bought for Rs14 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) last year, went for such a big price came as a huge surprise given the fact that he is no longer in the Indian team. His current form, however, has been good which could have led to the franchises showing interest in him.
 
"I think we learnt from last year, and that if we want a player we need to push hard for him. Hence we were prepared to go all the way with Yuvraj and it's great for the player as well," Delhi coach Gary Kirsten said justifying the record bid for Yuvraj.
 
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was another player, who commanded a massive price, going to RCB for Rs10.50 crore at a glitzy auction attended by business bigwigs, Bollywood stars like Preity Zinta and former cricketers such as Anil Kumble, Ricky Ponting, Stephen Fleming and VVS Laxman -- part of various teams' support staff.
 
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathew (Rs7.5 crore to DD), New Zealand pacer Trent Boult (Rs3.80 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad), Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra (Rs3.50 crore to DD) and Australian opener Aaron Finch (Rs3.20 crore to Mumbai Indians) were among those who fetched a good price at the auction.
 
Sri Lankan stalwarts Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Indian pacers Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan, South African batsman Hashim Amla and New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor went unsold in the initial rounds of the auction. They might still find a buyer in the final round of bidding.
 
Yuvraj, who carried a base price of Rs2 crore, was sold after a fierce tug of war for his services between DD and RCB, who bought him last year for Rs14 crore.
 
Initially, there was four-way bidding among Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils to buy India's 2011 World Cup hero in the auction conducted by Richard Madley. But once the bidding reached Rs7 crore, RR and KXIP quit, leaving DD and RCB in the fray.
 

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Veteran Communist Govind Pansare, wife shot at in Kolhapur

Govind Pansare, the leader of anti-toll movement in Maharashtra and his wife were shot at while returning from their morning walk in Kolhapur. Pansare's condition has been described as critical but stable, while his wife Uma is serious and stable 

 

In another shocking incident, veteran Communist and leader of anti-toll tax movement in Maharashtra, Govind P Pansare and his wife were shot at near their home in Sagarmala at Kolhapur. 
 
According to police, two unidentified assailants on a motorbike accosted the couple around 8am and fired at least four rounds from close range before speeding off.
 
The 82-year old lawyer and writer, and his wife Uma were rushed by passers-by to Astor Aadhar Hospital where they are undergoing surgery for bullet injuries.
 
Pansare's condition has been described as "critical but stable", while Uma is serious and stable, according to doctors.
 
Leaders and activists across the political spectrum expressed outrage over the attacks reminiscent of the early morning killing of anti-superstitions activist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in August 2013. His killers are still absconding.
 
The incident led to spontaneous protests across the state including Kolhapur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Mumbai with people condemning the attacks and demanding justice for the family.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis termed the attack on Pansare and his wife as "shocking and condemnable" and said all steps are being taken to nab the culprits.
 
"I am deeply shocked and I strongly condemn the attack on Pansare and his wife. I have spoken to superintendent of police (SP) of Kolhapur and directed him to speed up the investigations and arrest the assailants," Fadnavis said.
 
The chief minister added that 10 police teams are being formed to probe the case and the state police chief would supervise the investigations.
 
Sharad Pawar, chief of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) termed the attacks as heinous and a matter of extreme concern for the people of the state.
 
Social activist and Narendra Dabholkar's daughter Mukta termed the attack on Pansare as a pre-planned conspiracy and attack on secularism.
 

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