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Preity Yet To Get Green Signal To Sell Kings XI

New Delhi-Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council meet in Mumbai on Monday, actress was in the capital to seek permission for the sale of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Zinta is a co-owner
PTI September 27, 2010 17:04 IST
PTI
New Delhi-Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council meet in Mumbai on Monday, actress was in the capital to seek permission for the sale of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Zinta is a co-owner of the IPL team whose  sale to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for Rs1,800 crore has been held up for want of a green signal from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and government agencies, reports the Mumbai newspaper DNA.

Preity Zinta called on several members of the IPL governing council, including Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Rajiv Shukla and officials of the finance and corporate affairs ministries.

Shukla admitted to meeting the actress in connection with the sale of the team and said: "What can we do when the matter is pending with the government? The government has to give its clearance first, only then can we take a decision."

Zinta reportedly also met corporate affairs minister Salman Khurshid, who maintained that the IPL was not tainted, but certain issues of company law violations and revenue are under investigation.

KXIP is under the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and corporate affairs ministries' scanner for its source of funding, especially its Mauritius connection.

The ED is digging deep into the matter because 23% of the team's shares are held by Colway, a company registered in Mauritius. It is also suspected that suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi holds some shares in KXIP.

 Modi's prolonged absence from the country and his reluctance to show up before the ED has compounded Zinta's problems.

Within three years, the value of KXIP has risen from Rs357 crore to Rs1,800 crore, raising eyebrows. Its sale — the first among IPL teams — is considered a test case.

Even the fact that Chelsea boss Abramovich purchased the team and deposited the entire amount in advance in escrow in a Delhi bank attracted the BCCI and government's attention.

Zinta, industrialist Ness Wadia and Colway, an offshore company in Mauritius linked to Gaurav Burman and Karima Sagrani, each have a 23% stake in the team. The others with a stake in KXIP are Karan Paul of Apeejay Surendra (4%), Aditya Khanna, through Roots Investment (4%), Windy, once a Dabur company, acquired by Gaurav Burman, (11.5%), and MB Finmart, owned by Dabur's Mohit Burman, (11.5%).