Lalit Modi, the former chief of the Indian Premier League, has been issued a show-cause notice from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for Rs 18.5 crore duty evasion in the import of an aircraft in 2008
The notice said Modi was using the aircraft for personal reasons but set up dummy companies to import it by falsely availing Customs duty exemption. The DRI has relied on the various e-mails between Modi, his former employee and confidante Deepa Palekar and other facilitators to substantiate its claims.
The Rs 100 crore Bombardier Challenger 300 aircraft was imported by Vile Parle-based Golden Wings Pvt Ltd (GWPL) from Peel Aviation, Ireland, for a lease amount of Rs 10.85 crore for a period of 7 years beginning May 2008, according to reports.
"Investigations reveal that Mr Lalit K Modi orchestrated a series of events to acquire an aircraft for his personal use," the notice said. "Peel Aviation is a corporate veil to mask the actual owner of the aircraft, Modi."
There is no customs duty only if the aircraft is imported for non-scheduled passenger services or non-scheduled (charter) services. The notice stated that Modi's aircraft was not used for public transport of passengers and it did not undertake any charter services.
Modi used the aircraft during his trips relating to IPL both in India and abroad. The noticed also mentioned that 86 per cent of flying hours were used to transport Modi and that the import of spare parts also amounts to duty violation of Rs 45 lakh.
The aircraft's last trip was to the United Kingdom on July 20, 2010 and since then it is parked at Beggin Hills airport.