Indian Premier League's Rajasthan Royals get Rs 100 cr forex violations penalty notice

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has slapped a penalty notice of approximately Rs 100 crore against IPL team Rajasthan Royals for allegedly violating forex laws in its business operations.

The agency, which issued the penalty notice after a two years of investigations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), has sent out three separate notices to the IPL franchise totalling to Rs 98.5 crore plus some other similar notices earlier, sources said.

While a Rs 50 crore penalty has been slapped on Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited (JIPL) and its directors, owners of Rajasthan Royals, Rs 34 crore notice for evasion of forex duties has been issued against EM Sporting Holding, Mauritius and its directors.

A fresh notice of Rs 14.5 crore has been issued against Ms ND Investments, United Kingdom and its directors.

All the three parties can appeal against this penalty order in the appellate authority of FEMA. The order requires the IPL team to pay up in 45 days.

The ED has been investigating financial and foreign exchange irregularities against all the IPL franchises for almost two years now and this is the first big order against any team. It comes just a day after auctions concluded in Chennai for the sixth edition of the glamorous cricket extravaganza.

The penalty order said the probe agency found that foreign investment in JIPL was made in "flagrant contravention of FEMA" and the investment made in this regard was made "much prior to the incorporation of JIPL".

The penalty was issued after investigations pointed out that the funds in the firm have been remitted in an irregular manner and shares were allegedly issued in violation of forex rules stipulated and framed by the RBI.

The agency issued the first penalty order against Rajasthan Royals in mid-2011 and it recently moved the FEMA Adjudicating Authority in Delhi to vet its investigation in this case and issue final orders.

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