GODFREY Phillips India chairman KK Modi on Thursday said he was confident his son, Lalit Modi, would come out unscathed from the ongoing investigations against him. “These are just charges that they (income-tax officials) have put on Lalit. I feel that Lalit will come out clean of all this. The charges levied by the income tax department will be proved wrong,” Mr Modi told on the phone. “Anyone can make charges but that they have to be proved right for a person to be pronounced guilty,” he added.
When asked whether his son had contacted him or sought advice from him after the I-T sleuths started raiding his offices in regard to irregularities in award of IPL franchisees, he said: “Lalit has not contacted me for any counselling on this matter,” adding that he was currently overseas and thus not been able to meet Lalit.
In an interview last September, Mr Modi had expressed his reservations on Lalit’s almost full time involvement with the Indian Premier League, as he wanted his son to help him in the group’s existing business interests. Mr Modi said he ‘did help’ his son (Lalit’s) efforts to establish IPL as a commercially viable sports property as ‘it created a lot of value and gave him fame’. But he hoped that Lalit Modi, who is a director on the boards of all group companies, would started focusing on the family businesses in the next couple of years
KK Modi has two sons, Samir and Lalit Modi, and a daughter, Charu Modi who is married in the Bhartia family. The KK Modi group companies include Godfrey Phillips India Limited, Indofil Chemicals Company, Colorbar Cosmetics, Modicare Limited, Modi Entertainment Network and Modi Healthcare Placements. While Samir Modi is the head of Colorbar Cosmetics, Lalit Modi looks after Modi Entertainment Networks (MEN).
MEN is under the radar by tax sleuths. According to a source report prepared by the income-tax department, MEN owed $2.5 million to World Sports Group, a Singapore based sports events marketing company. WSG later won the global media rights for the IPL. The report, alleged that Lalit Modi was settling his old MEN dues by awarding IPL rights to WSG, at favourable terms. WSG’s president Venu Nair did not pick up calls by ET reporters despite repeated attempts.