The BCCI has decided to pay a penalty of Rs 9.72 crore imposed on its former treasurer MP Pandove by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) during 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa.
It is learnt that Pandove had applied for indemnity under Rule 34 of BCCI constitution where the organisation pays on behalf of the member if he is slapped with a penalty while discharging his function.
Pandove was the treasurer of BCCI in 2009 when IPL was shifted from India to South Africa due to general elections.
Under FEMA, BCCI ought to have taken Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) permission before transferring the money to South African banks but an ED investigation found that the Board had then neither informed nor taken permission from RBI for the transaction.
While BCCI was levied a penalty of Rs 82.66 crore, its former president N Srinivasan had a fine of Rs 11.53 crore imposed on him. Fugitive IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was slapped with a fine of Rs 10.65 crore apart from Pandove.
While BCCI has approved the penalty amount to be paid on behalf of Pandove (a copy of letter is with PTI), the letter states that if Pandove is “found guilty of any wilful act or default, the said amount will be recovered”.
The letter also states that if Pandove can successfully challenge the order and get a refund, he will have to deposit the amount back to BCCI with necessary accretions (accrued interest).
The framing of the sanction letter has left some of the senior BCCI officials surprised.
“Everyone knows that Mr Pandove was performing his duties as a treasurer. For all practical purposes, he was not the decision making authority at that point in time. So why do you need to just insult him by writing that if there is any “wilful default on your part”,” a senior official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
The indemnity letter has been signed by secretary Amitabh Choudhary but it is learnt that he was just asked to sign on the dotted lines.
The FEMA order categorically states that the transfer of funds was in alleged violation of the RBI guidelines meant for transferring funds abroad.