Also on cricketcountry.com
Jun 18, 2014
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) co-owner Preity Zinta, who recently filed a complaint against co-owner Ness Wadia, allegedly accusing him of abusing her in public during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 30, is reportedly thinking of selling her stakes in the team and moving to Los Angeles.
“She is keen to sell her IPL stake and shift to the US after this very public row with Ness. She has bought herself property in Los Angeles, where she spends most of her time nowadays. She is in India only during the IPL season,” a friend of Preity was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
The actress and the Bombay Dyeing scion, Wadia, each have 23 per cent stake in the company which owns the IPL side. Dabur’s Mohit Burman holds 46 per cent and Apeejay Surendra Group’s Karan Paul and the Delhi’s Root Investment also havestake in the team.
According to the report, the lawyers are analysing whether there is a possibility of settlement between the two sides. The lawyers are also trying to make Preity withdraw the complaint.
A lawyer close to the two sides told the Calcutta daily that negotiations were being made. However, if Wadia is found guilty then he might have to spend five years in jail.
Although, the Bollywood actress’ lawyer Hitesh Jain told that he was appalled that the entire incident was being given the colour of a sexual assault by the media and the police.
“It is for the courts to decide whether Section 354 is applicable to this case or not. But the very filing of the FIR under this charge puts Ness Wadia in deep trouble. Not only is it a non-bailable charge, it is also non-compoundable, which means it cannot be settled between parties. So the only option is withdrawal of the complaint or refusal by Zinta to re-record her statement as asked by police. Let’s see how this plays out,” said N Pradhan, a senior Mumbai lawyer.
Earlier, KXIP had declared that it have registered profit for the first time in seven years.
KXIP owners, KPH Dream, declared a profit before tax of Rs 78.01 lakhs for 2012-13. Even if Preity decides to sell her stakes, the company is not eager on selling the shares to outsiders.
On the other hand, the Wadias have taken a totally different stand on the issue.
“It was a quarrel between ex-lovers — there might have been some physical fracas, but it was in no way an assault on a woman’s modesty — the court will throw out the case. The other party realises this and is ready for a settlement,” said a Wadia family source.
“She never mentioned sexual assault. Why are they calling it‘molestation’? The police have not even contacted me — her lawyer — yet. It is strange,” Preity’s lawyer Jain added.
Preity’s complaint letter states, “I… request you to look in the matter at the earliest and as per law, register an FIR u/s 354, 506 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code against Mr Ness Wadia for physically and mentally torturing me, criminally intimidating me and insulting me in public by speaking ill against my character”.
Popular lawyer Abha Singh points out, “IPC section 354 is usually slapped in cases of molestation as that is what the law means by outraging the modesty of a woman. Those who demand action under such provisions in their complaints should know what it means.”
The Mumbai police on Monday wrote to the Bollywood actress, requesting her to appear and re-record her statement.
“We are unable to reach her onphone — so we have written to her to come and record her statement within a week. It is only then we can go ahead further. As of now, the CCTV footage of the Garware pavilion, where Ness was accused of attacking Preity on May 30, has not revealed anything. We have asked the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] to share footage from other cameras,” said a Mumbai police officer.
“Preity had mentioned two Mumbai businessmen who were at the spot as her witnesses. We have interviewed them. We will also interview BCCI officials in this regard. We will call Wadia after collecting all the evidence,” he added.
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