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Enforcement Directorate issues show cause to BCCI, IPL, MSM, WSG

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MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a show cause notice against Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Indian Premier League (IPL), their officials and private multimedia firms for alleged contravention of forex laws in awarding a cricketing media rights contract in 2009. The ED has slapped a charge of Rs 425 crore for the same on the entities.

The notices have been issued to close to ten individuals and entities, which include former BCCI boss 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 notices were served when the entire country was celebrating India’s win over Pakistan in the World Cup and witnessing the Pepsi IPL 2015 auction.

It was in 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 MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced a year later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid $1.63 billion.

The ED stepped in on this case in 2009 and began a probe under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate allegations that payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius was made in an alleged unauthorised manner.

As per media reports, the agency has now issued a show-cause notice to those officials in these organisations, who were at the helm and signatories to the contract deal as it probed and detected that FEMA and RBI laws were "contravened" in the final execution of this deal.

The agency has issued the final notices after which all parties are allowed to appeal against the order within a period of 45 days or else pay the charged amount as mentioned in the notice.

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