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IT dept carries out 15-hour survey of docs at BCCI headquarters

IT dept carries out 15-hour survey of docs at BCCI headquarters

Mumbai  :  Officials of the central Income Tax department carried out a nearly 15-hour survey of documents at the headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at Cricket Centre, inside Wankhede Stadium, recently, leaving the premises well after midnight. The survey culminated in notices being sent to BCCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rahul Johri and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Santosh Rangnekar. Both Johri and Rangnekar have been asked to appear for personal hearings at the I-T department's Charni Road office at 3 pm on Monday.

Mirror has learnt that the search was related to the TDS deductions and statements the BCCI has been submitting to the I-T department. The BCCI pays crores annually in the form of TDS for various payments.

The survey of documents went on till 2.30 am on January 5. I-T officials had entered the BCCI office around 11 am on January 4.

Initially, five or six I-T officials went into Cricket Centre, but as the day progressed, a dozen or so officials joined the first batch. There was no immediate information at the time of going to press on whether the investigators had taken any documents with them when they left.

The episode raises questions on the role of Rangnekar, the newly appointed BCCI CFO, who excused himself in the evening while the survey was on, and went to a Bandra hotel to attend the IPL 'Retention' programme. He returned to the office around 9 pm, after the I-T officials asked him to come back. This has not gone down well with some BCCI members, who said the CFO should have stayed put at the office for the entire duration of the survey.

"It was shocking to note that the CFO left the office, leaving the responsibility of handling the I-T officials in the hands of his staff. If he had gone to attend the IPL event, well, he had no role there," a senior BCCI member told Mirror. The official also expressed the hope that the I-T department had not found anything amiss during the survey. The BCCI's finance department employs eight people.

Sources told this paper that the BCCI has been asked to make an immediate payment of Rs 19 crore to avoid being an "assessee in default", in compliance with provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. But it is not clear if this payment demand relates to the January 4 and 5 survey.

When contacted, Rangnekar told Mirror the survey was "normal". "It happens every year-end. It happens with every corporate [entity]," he said.

When specifically asked why the I-T officials were present in the BCCI offices till beyond 2.30 am, Rangnekar said that this, too, was normal. "They wanted to finish the whole thing in one go. So it is normal," he said.

And what about being summoned to the I-T office? "That is normal too," he said.

Rangnekar has been in the news recently for alleging before the Supreme Court that he had received death threats from BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry.