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Shashi Tharoor told me not to probe into the identity of Sunanda Pushkar: Lalit Modi on Kochi franchise issue

lalit-modi New Delhi: Former Indian Premier League (IPL) chief Lalit Modi on  Wednesday said that he signed the Kochi franchise bid under pressure.

“I signed the Kochi bid under pressure minutes,” Modi tweeted on Wednesday.

Along with the tweet he attached a letter where details of the insights of the  meeting during the Kochi bid on April 11, 2010 at 12 a.m. were mentioned.

According tho the letter, the persons present at the meeting were, Lalit Modi  (Chairman IPL), Akhila Kaushik (Legal Advisor, BCCI), Sundar Raman  (COO,IPL), Shailendra Gaikwad (Rendevouz Sports world Pvt Ltd), Mehul  Shah  (Anchor Earth Pvt Ltd), Chintan Vora (Anchor Earth Pvt Ltd), Vipul  Shah  (Parinee Developers & Properties Pvt Ltd), Saket Mehta (Anand Shyam  Estates &  Developers Pvt Ltd), Kailash Singhal (Filmwaves Combines Pvt Ltd), Vivek Venugopal and Keshav P T (Filmwaves Combines Pvt Ltd).

The minutes of the meeting with bidder of Kochi franchise as given by Modi are as follows.

The meeting was called to validate and authenticate the bid documents related to the Kochi franchise (unincorporated JV) bid. The documents submitted on the day of tender opening in Chennai was found to restrict the liability of the owners in the shareholders agreement and the chairman had asked for submission of all valid documents in the presence of all owners.

The Chairman stated to the consortia of owners present that he had received a call from Shashi Tharoor, union minister of state for external affairs, asking him not to probe into the identity of Sunanda Pushkar, one owners listed in the shareholders agreement.

The Chairman stated it is the responsibility of the BCCI-IPL to ascertain the identity of all the owners in order to maintain the integrity of the league and that of BCCI. He went on to ask the following to Gaikwad, one of the owners of the consortia.

Declare the identity of the owners listed – Puja Gulati, Sandeep Aggarwal, Vishnu Mohan Prasad and Sunanda Pushkar. Gaikwad replied Sunanda Pushkar was a family friend living in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. She is a housewife and that her husband is in the auto industry. He also said one of the others was a friend from Silicon Valley and also mentioned Puja has done her MBA. However he did not know any more details and assured he will send an e-mail with the details within 24 hours.

The Chairman further probed if there were any direct or indirect ownership or connection for any of the owner members with any politicians, current or past sportsmen. Gaikwad in reply called his father on the phone to clarify the same and responded stating that his father said that he would call him back with the details.

Within a couple of minutes, the Chairman received a call from Shashi Tharoor on his mobile phone asking why he was asking the connection link of the owner related to Pushkar.

The chairman though did not have to respond, informed Tharoor that it is BCCI-IPL’s regulations to check the credibility of all investors and will further investigate if there was any linkages with any unidentified investors. He said if any of the owners were found to have any linkages, the BCCI-IPL will have the absolute rights to terminate the agreement under the clauses as applicable in the ITT.

The chairman further advised the consortia members that the details related to player regulation, retention and home ground for the Kochi franchise will be briefed at a later time.

The chairman signed the agreement reserving all rights to exercise as per the ITT and franchise agreement. (IANS)

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