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April 16, 2010

The Indian Premier Leak

THE IPL ISN’T ABOUT CRICKET. IT’S ABOUT BIG MONEY, POLITICS, SEX AND DRUGS. SHANTANU GUHA RAY ON THE MURKY CANVAS OF THE THAROOR-MODI SPAT

IT’S THE open secret no one wants to acknowledge: the IPL is not about cricket. The ugly controversy surrounding Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor and IPL chief Lalit Modi — over Tharoor’s friend Sunanda Pushkar owning 4.9 percent free sweat equity in the Kochi team that Tharoor helped put together — is merely a warning sign pointing to a much deeper dirt pit that comprises in equal parts big money, politics, glamour, greed, sex, drugs and intense backroom jostling.

The reason the Tharoor-Pushkar controversy snowballed at the speed it did is less to do with the facts of the case than this unsavoury combination that underpins everything to do with the IPL these days. Unfortunately, much of the news about these seamy dealings is still merely in the realm of gossip and speculation: murmurs in a baroque gossip bazaar. Yet, recounting these murmurs is enough to outline the shape of things. After all, remember, the murmurs are all emanating from insiders. But to put things in perspective, first the primary question: What are the facts of the Tharoor- Pushkar case? With the IPL announcing that it would invite two new franchises to join the league, a few months ago Tharoor actively began to promote the idea of a Kochi team and helped cobble together a consortium of investors — Rendezvous Sports World — to sponsor the team. As a cricket enthusiast and MP from Kerala, Tharoor was presumably motivated by his zeal to bring home turf Kerala into the lucrative circle of the IPL. Ordinarily, the fact that a female real estate professional close to him was given 4.9 percent free equity in the team would have raised absolutely no eyebrows. After all, prima facie, there was no allegation of any money transaction or public funds being misused, nor had Tharoor extended any ministerial favours for the franchise. So why the disproportionate stink?

Why did the Tharoor fracas threaten to disrupt Parliament? Why did news of it reach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in far away Washington and overshadow his talks with President Obama on Afghanistan and the Nuclear Liability Bill? Why did Tharoor have to spend two-anda- half hours on Thursday morning, April 15, with one of the Capital’s top corporate lobbyists and troubleshooters (who works for one of the richest men in the world) seeking help? After all, as one of the protagonists said, “It’s common knowledge that other politicians running across aviation, agriculture road transport and the Opposition, are minting money and have undeclared stakes in every cricket pie. Why has there been no uproar about all that?”

The answer is, wittingly or unwittingly, Tharoor had disturbed equations in the dirt pit. Rumours are, when the Kochi team won the bid, many carefully laid plans by others were laid to waste. To understand this, for a moment, return to the facts: the other stakeholders jostling for a franchise were the Sahara Group, owned by Subrata Roy; the Pune team sponsored by Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and relatively lesser-known businessmen; and an Ahmedabad team sponsored by the Adani Group, one of India’s top infrastructure companies.

Subrata Roy, of course, outplayed everyone by making an astronomical bid of $370 million, prompted by his numerologist. Pune was out of the running. That left Kochi and Gujarat running neck and neck.

So what made Lalit Modi suddenly twitter innocuously last weekend about Sunanda Pushkar and how Tharoor had allegedly asked him not to inquire into who she was — the kindle that lit the fire stack? It’s common knowledge that Modi and Tharoor are friends, so why this sudden and ugly fall out? (Friends of Tharoor say that Modi is misusing a bantering remark the minister had made to him over a drink. Tharoor is, indeed, set to marry Pushkar but is waiting for a divorce from his Canadian wife Christa Giles to come through and, therefore, has been loath to make his relationship public. This is why when Modi asked him in a nudge-nudge sort of way, “So, who is Sunanda Pushkar?” Tharoor had laughingly evaded the question saying, ‘Don’t ask me that as yet.’ So what made Modi turn that into something sinister?)

The answers lie muddied in the pit and snake back to earlier events. When Lalit Modi lost the elections to the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), he not only lost a fiefdom, he lost much-needed immunity. With a Congress government replacing the BJP in the saddle, his political patronage was blown and more than 20 cases were opened against him, relating to tax evasion and financial irregularities when he was at the helm of the RCA. He desperately needed new armour, and a firm foot back in the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). The rumour mills say that Lalit Modi had approached Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and was assured by the latter that if he could ensure that the Gujarat team wins the franchise and brings both glamour and money to the state, he’d be made the secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association (of which the chief minister is the president).
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At first, Modi tried hard to make friend Tharoor back off so that the Adani bid could be more competitive. He even tried to mislead the Kochi group by telling them that all they needed to win the race was $299 million. The consortium, however, was reportedly alerted by former Indian skippers Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri that Modi was actually seeking $322 million. The Kochi team was also told that they would face many technical hurdles to block them from winning the bid.

But instead of backing off, the Tharoor- mentored Kochi consortium bid an astronomical Rs 1,500 crore and won the franchise. Powerful men — potential investors and politicians — across the country flew into a tizzy. Allegations began to fly fast and thick. The Kochi consortium alleges that Modi offered them a $50 million bribe to abandon their bid after they had won the Kochi franchise. They refused. The desperation in different quarters soared.

The rumour goes too that, at one point, Modi made an urgent call to Tharoor saying things had gone beyond him and if Tharoor didn’t back off, Modi’s life would be in danger. But Modi was not the only angry man. Rumour also has it that Tharoor finds himself politically isolated for other reasons.

Such is the jostling for stakes in the IPL money-glamour-influence pie, a very senior UPA cabinet minister from Maharashtra and a former classmate of Tharoor’s, had called the latter asking him to get Rendezvous Sports to offload its stakes in favour of an owner of a Maharashtra- based white goods giant. (In a serpentine twist, this businessman had apparently first paid Modi money for a chance to invest in the Ahmedabad team. When that franchise bid was foiled, he wanted to invest in the Kochi team.) However, apparently driven by some sense of chivalry to the original consortium, Tharoor refused.

Soon after, a senior functionary of the BCCI sent Tharoor a similar message in favour of the corporate giant. Tharoor again declined. He had just made himself another enemy within the world’s richest cricket board.

The further irony is that, according to highly reliable sources in the cricketing management fraternity, the 4.9 percent free sweat equity Sunanda Pushkar is being pilloried for does not even belong to her. A mere .5 percent is reserved for Pushkar. Disturbingly, the rest belongs — off paper and on trust — to two iconic cricketing giants, one of who is still playing for the Mumbai IPL team. This free equity is the quid pro quo they demanded for helping put the Kochi team and its promoters together — not a rank corruption perhaps in the larger scheme of things, but certainly an impropriety.
THAT THE THAROOR FRACAS SNOWBALLED SO QUICKLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACTS OF THE CASE. IT’S TO DO WITH BACKROOM POLITICS

One has a greater sense of the fantastical world of the IPL and what passes for right and wrong when you take into account the fact that Tharoor is probably right in saying the equity will not benefit him and is commensurate with what Pushkar was bringing to the table as a highly attractive and successful marketing professional. Yet, he is caught in a twilight zone where he is honourbound and cannot entirely disclose why he is saying this. (This might be why small white lies seem to be sprouting around them. Pushkar claimed in a written statement to the media that she had been approached by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to assist them as a marketing consultant. While it seems true that top-line event management professional Karim Murani associated with KKR is a friend of hers, KKR co-owners Shah Rukh Khan and Jay Mehta, actor Juhi Chawla’s husband, have denied the claim outright.)

BUT MONEY, influence and ambition are only one set of ingredients in the IPL dirt pit. Each match is accompanied by a swirling constellation of late-night parties and beautiful women that moves with it across cities. Drugs and sex, then, seem to be another equally potent mix driving rivalries and events in the world of IPL.

Back to murmurs in the rumour bazaar then. It appears a thwarted franchise bid is not the only reason Lalit Modi set out to discredit the Kochi team in the hope that he could have it disqualified. He has other personal reasons for declaring war on Tharoor.
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Sources in the rumour business say that the night before Tharoor met the city’s most influential troubleshooter, he and his Man Friday, Jacob Joseph, had put together what they claimed were documents that would sully Modi’s reputation. A few days earlier, newspapers had carried front-page stories linking a beautiful South African model, Gabriella Demetriades, with Modi. It seems Modi no longer wanted the association and had requested Tharoor’s office, as Minister of State for External Affairs, to deny Gabriella a visa. Piqued by the backroom pressure and anxiety Modi had been visiting on his boss and the Kochi team, Tharoor’s aide Jacob Joseph refused to entertain the request and not only expedited the visa but apparently taunted Modi’s aides about it. The story goes that when Modi found out, he called Tharoor in a rage at night and slammed the phone down, vowing vendetta.

Modi has consistently told the media that he does not know Gabriella and has nothing to do with her. Unfortunately for him, however, he seems to have left an e-mail trail when he wrote to Joseph for help about denying the visa. These mails contravene his claim about not knowing Gabriella because in his hurry to shunt her off, he apparently forgot to delete his chain-mail exchanges with her. “In the mail to her, Modi clearly tells Gabriella that he will handle the visa and that there should be no problems. So why did he change his mind? Is there a fear that Gabriella would spill some beans he would not be able to handle?” says a senior BCCI functionary, who is aghast at the Modi-Tharoor row and the way it has blown craters in the reputation of a tournament that, till recently, was being touted as the world’s fastest growing sports show.

There are other pieces in the counter-campaign being prepared against Lalit Modi. Among them is the assertion that Modi was not only booked for drug abuse in college but is involved in a court case for cocaine abuse as recently as 2006 in the UAE.

The April 15 meeting with Delhi’s top corporate troubleshooter also seems to have paid other dividends for Tharoor. Support has started pouring in from many quarters. The office of Subhash Chandra Goel, Chairmain Zee Telefilms, for instance, has offered clinching evidence of Modi’s involvement in a lottery scandal in India’s northeastern states for which a court case has been going on for years. (It’s in keeping with the dirt pit that Goel has, of course, been at loggerheads with Modi ever since his Indian Cricket League (ICL) was scuttled by Modi and his IPL with the backing of the BCCI, even though the ICL had been first off the block.)
GUJARAT IS NOT THE ONLY CAMP MIFFED WITH THAROOR. HE WAS ALSO UNDER PRESSURE FROM A BIG WHITE GOODS GIANT TO GET KOCHI TO TRANSFER ITS STAKES

“It’s become a free for all,” BCCI top man Shashank Manohar told TEHELKA in disgust over a brief telephonic conversation. “The IPL is now becoming the dirty underbelly of Indian cricket.” Manohar — who has been named as IPL co-chairman — insisted every issue would be discussed and debated at the BCCI-IPL sub-committee meeting scheduled next week and asserted that he would happy if all franchisees opened up their stakes for review in a transparent manner.

As this story went to press, in fact, news began to trickle in that the Income Tax department had launched a raid on the IPL headquarters in Mumbai.

This would probably be worrying news for almost everyone involved in the IPL. To open up everyone’s stakes is equivalent to yanking the lid off a can of worms. In the grimy mess that would ensue, Sunanda Pushkar’s 4.9 percent would probably look like a child’s playtime snack.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) say that when one of the richest men in the country says he owns a team through personal wealth, it is something of a lie. The stakes have apparently been bought through his company with shareholders’ money, which makes the Rs 43 crore his team lost last season an unlisted liability for public shareholders.

But as the cliché goes, this is merely the tip. There are also rumours that a key protagonist and IPL official has holdings not just in Rajasthan Royals, but also in Kings XI Punjab and KKR. IB officials add that this functionary also has a stake in a media company associated with the IPL and owned by a relative.

There are other lateral movements afoot — unfortunately motivated more by a need for secure pastures it seems, than a consideration for the game. KKR skipper Saurav Ganguly, for instance, has apparently approached fellow Bengali Subrata Roy for possible absorption in the Sahara Team. A top KKR official says Ganguly has also advised many of his fellow players to jump ship. The rumour mills say Yuvraj Singh has also sent a similar message to the Sahara chairman.

But these are relatively minor moves. The bazaar gossip says the editor of a major media house, whose son had recently come under the radar of corporate intelligence bodies, is also trying to get into the IPL franchise racket.

In the middle of all this, a third angle is brewing silently that threatens to queer things for those batting themselves sixers through the IPL. This involves the former BCCI and ICC president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, who has been camping in Delhi for the last few days.

Dalmiya, totally sidelined within the BCCI and left watching the IPL circus from the wings, is now determined to force the IPL to share its profits with the state cricket associations — thereby divvying up the money pie. Currently, IPL — which earns more than Rs 700 crore a year — pays a pittance of Rs 4 crore to each state association. Dalmiya wants to raise that to around Rs 30-40 crore. He has enlisted several politicians cutting across party lines in this campaign. By getting the state cricket associations to back him, the wily gamester could get a chance to reinsert himself into the big game.

The pity is nothing it seems is above board with the IPL anymore. Even spectators have a scam going on. Last month, Income Tax officials were alerted across the country to find out whether IPL officials were fudging tickets and avoiding tax. Their findings were in the affirmative. In a demeaning instance of ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’, it appears corporates were buying loads of lower denomination tickets yet accessing box seats that come with complimentary liquor and food. This was helping IPL organisers to avoid paying entertainment tax.

With the IPL having stooped so low, it might really be time to blow the whistle officially. The irony is that this must have been the last thing on Lalit Modi’s mind when he tweeted about Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar last weekend. But his tweet has indeed become a whistle.

30 comments:

Minnie said...

@Illusionist

Thanks for posting this article..explains quite a lot of murky stuff going on behind the scenes! Not sure if any party is going to come out of this unscathed!

Pardesi said...

Aiyayyai yai! This is full on tamasha worthy of a movie by Scorsese! Shocking:

"MOST OF SUNANDA PUSHKAR’S 4.9 PERCENT FREE EQUITY ACTUALLY BELONGS TO TWO ICONIC CRICKETING GREATS. ONE OF THEM PLAYS FOR THE MUMBAI INDIANS"


I love this part though:

"There are other lateral movements afoot — unfortunately motivated more by a need for secure pastures it seems, than a consideration for the game. KKR skipper Saurav Ganguly, for instance, has apparently approached fellow Bengali Subrata Roy for possible absorption in the Sahara Team. A top KKR official says Ganguly has also advised many of his fellow players to jump ship. The rumour mills say Yuvraj Singh has also sent a similar message to the Sahara chairman."

It seems that until Dada is part of KKR there fortunes will never change, so Dada moving to the Sahara owned team would be a blessing in disguise. He will take others with him? Like who? Who on KKR has been valuable enough to be irreplaceable to the team?

Neo said...

Tehelka is usually just nonsense with no credibility so i would hardly believe it . and again think 1000 times before even doubting Sachin .

Minnie said...

The IPL controversy demonstrates that Indian sport will always be coated in sleaze (NEW)

Posted By: Vir Sanghvi | Posted On: 17 Apr 2010 06:41 PM

We’ve had a full week of hype and hypocrisy; of allegations and counter-allegations; of charges of bribery and conflict of interest; and of suggestions that illegal money is being used to purchase cricket teams. Now that we have a Sunday to reflect, let’s take stock of what we’ve learnt so far.

First of all, there’s the role of Shashi Tharoor. The first allegation against Tharoor is that he took far too much interest in a bid for an IPL team from Kochi. Tharoor’s response is that he functioned as an MP from Kerala. He is a cricket fan and believed that his state deserved an IPL team. He was not part of the consortium, he says, merely a mentor.

In an ideal world, politicians would not be involved in sports management. But we live in a very imperfect world where politicians regard sport as part of their ambit. Suresh Kalmadi controls the Olympic Association. Sharad Pawar runs cricket in India. And state associations are full of political figures: Arun Jaitley, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Rajiv Shukla, etc.

In such a situation, it is not necessarily unusual for a politician to push for an IPL franchise or even to throw his weight behind a consortium. It shouldn’t happen. But it happens all too often.

The problem arises with the second allegation. It is suggested that Tharoor was not acting for the benefit of Kerala but for the benefit of Shashi Tharoor. He was a secret member of this consortium and his five per cent equity pay-off was handed over to a benami, his girlfriend Sunanda Pushkar.

The consortium and Tharoor both deny this allegation. Ms Pushkar was hired to do marketing and PR for the company and the equity was in lieu of payment. Frankly, this is the weakest part of Tharoor’s case. Are Ms Pushkar’s skills so desirable that she is worth five per cent sweat equity?

Tharoor seems to believe they are. Besides, he says, if he had wanted a kickback he could have disguised it better. Why accept the equity in the name of someone that close to him?

That leads us to another can of worms. The only reason why Ms Pushkar’s equity became a subject of debate was because Lalit Modi, the IPL’s Czar, tweeted about it. Modi had no valid reason to reveal Ms Pushkar’s shareholding. The exact ownership of IPL teams is confidential and he has not been so forthcoming about other teams.

Why then did Modi do the dirty on the Kochi consortium? According to the Kochi group – and Modi’s many detractors within the cricket world – he had hoped that the winning bid would come from another group, the Adanis of Gujarat, and was peeved when Kochi won. He then tried to force Kochi out and leaked damaging information about the consortium.

While Modi’s motives remain the subject of debate, there is no doubt that he was out to get Kochi. He raised all kinds of issues about the composition of the consortium and according to the Kochi group, even offered a bribe of 50 million dollars if Kochi would withdraw and enable him to award the franchise to somebody else.

As far as Modi was concerned, Ms Pushkar was collateral damage, a person of no consequence who was only a means to hurt Tharoor. Perhaps he hoped that the controversy he successfully generated would lead to the exit of Kochi from the IPL and leave him with a vacated franchise to redistribute.

Read the rest here

Neo said...

IPL's first victim - Shashi tharoor

The Illusionist said...

Kochi IPL row: Tharoor resigns

NEW DELHI: Minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor on Sunday evening handed over his resignation to PM Manmohan Singh. Tharoor's move came minutes after the Congress core committe's meeting at the PM's residence.

Shashi Tharoor drove-in to the PM's residence and handed over his resignation to the Prime Minister. Tharoor went to Singh's residence in the night in a car without the red light unlike in the morning.

According to TV reports, the MoS for the external affairs was asked to resign by PM Manmohan Singh. Apparently, the decision to ask Shashi Tharoor to resign was taken in the Congress core committee's meeet.

The nearly two-hour meeting, held at the Prime Minister's House at 7, Race Course Road, was convened to decide the party's action on Tharoor's future in the government. The meeting discussed continuance of the minister in the wake of controversy over allotment of sweat equity of the value of Rs 70 crore to his friend Sunanda Pushkar by the IPL Kochi franchise.

Earlier in the day, Tharoor met the prime minister for 50 minutes to present his side of the story over the IPL controversy involving him and close friend Sunanda Pushkar.

Besides Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her political advisor Ahmed Patel, home minister P Chidambaram, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and defence minister AK Antony were among those attending the meet.

Party sources said Gandhi was unhappy over the entire development and leaders feel that Sunanda Pushkar's offer to return the sweat equity amounted to admission of guilt.

The Core Group is also believed to have discussed the damage wrought by the controversy to the government and the party and that a decision should be taken in a way that the party could face Parliament.

Parliament was paralysed on Friday with the opposition demanding Tharoor's resignation. It had also given enough hints that it would continue to rock Parliament on the issue if Tharoor was not not sacked.

LINK

Pardesi said...

Tharoor is a sad victim of these circumstances, because each one of these politicos on both sides has lined their nests to a much greater extent then Tharoor ever did or could have in his short career.

BUT there is deep sadness in me also at the loss of innocence. I expected Tharoor to be a white knight, pure-hearted and noble, and for him to come and slowly clean out the mucky stables of politics. Instead he got his own feet dirty right at the start. Yet again this shows that politics is no place for people with noble intentions, and certainly if you have those, then never ever give the corrupt guys chance to hit back.

The winner - the politicians who wanted to disqualify Kochi so they could have a go at a stake in a team. With Tharoor resigning how can they let the Kochi bid stand?

Neo said...

"The winner - the politicians who wanted to disqualify Kochi so they could have a go at a stake in a team. With Tharoor resigning how can they let the Kochi bid stand?: - there is no proof to this .

infact Pranab and Anthony got detail report on kochi bidding process and Tharoor from IT and that is why the decision was taken . the Rendezvous sport company did some major blunders in giving sweat equaty and thus all the efforts of Tharoor to prove himself innocence were unconvincing and PM didnt want any more embarassment so asked him to resign .

lets see if Rendezvous also faces something here because they have violated so many laws to give sweat equity .

Neo said...

and Tharoor has noble intentions right . just cos he worked for UN and speaks english well .

we came to know how noble his intentions are with kochi bidding already .

Neo said...

but this raise too many questions on IPL bidding system -

1. does the bids get affedted by Ministers ?

2. why did Rendezvous needed help of Tharoor ?

Pardesi said...

Tharoor was the first non-insider to get elected - that itself was a major feat the promised to shake politics out of its usual dirty business. He was the MOST competent person to handle foreign policy, who else knew more than him? Speaking well and being informed is crucial to foreign policy - so why is that bad?

BUT my feeling is that these are the very things that acted against him - in usual politics no one likes someone who seems better or more intelligent than the average politician. He was help up to much higher standards than most normal politicians. Show me one politician who has not indulged in this kind of dirty business with money. And I already said that that is why I am disappointed, I expected more from him. BUT he was sacrificed when other bigger sinners go scott-free!

One cannot help imagine that the money in IPL is at play here.

ApexHeights said...

What a shame! We will never get to the bottom of this story like many other scams in the past. I have always believed the educated Tharoor types in politics are more dangerous than the Mayas and Mulayams and lalus we have. IPL means big money which means big politics and, in India, big politicians. All these Subarata Roys, Amar Singh , Rajiv Shuklas,Lalit Modis are just white colored mafias and Pawar is the ring leader !

All the tehelkas of the world can never get to the bottom of this rot!

Pardesi said...

Now Modi will be crucified by the government. First Tharoor aides "re-exposed" drug charges from college days that were already public. Now government comes out with report that they had for the last six months! WHY NOW?

LINK

A league of extraordinary betting?

NEW DELHI: ‘Mr Lalit Modi has had a trail of failed ventures and defaults till four years back but has a lifestyle now that includes a private jet, a luxury yacht and a fleet of Mercedes S class and BMW cars all acquired in the last three years.’

Thus opens a highly confidential and explosive report by the income-tax department that has been in the possession of the government for six months now but formed the basis of any action only on Thursday evening after a raging controversy over secret ownerships and sweetheart deals in the Indian Premier League, or IPL, stalled both houses of Parliament.

What will come as most disturbing to cricket fans is that the report suggests pervasive betting and outcome fixing in the IPL. According to the report, Modi himself is involved through Samir Thukral, a Delhi-based “page 3 personality” with an “opulent lifestyle despite having no apparent source of income”.

Mr Thukral is a permanent fixture at all IPL matches with VIP access, the report says, adding that he “carries out the betting on behalf of Lalit Modi”. I-T sleuths are investigating “a lot of matches of IPL, especially involving the three teams in which Modi has an interest”. The mobile number listed in the report against Thukral actually belongs to Samir Thukral, a co-founder of Shree Capital Advisors, a Delhi-based private equity advisory firm.

Ownership issues

The report alleges that Modi has silent ownership in three IPL teams—Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. According to the report, Rajasthan Royals’ owner Emerging Media is controlled by Manoj Badale, Mumbai Education Trust and Ranjit Thakre, a former employee of ITC Ltd. It says a 25% stake in the team is with “hidden owner” Suresh Chellaram, a Nigeria-based co-brother-in-law of Mr Modi. Manoj Badale did not respond to an email seeking comment from ET.

Incidentally, Rajasthan Royals won the first IPL tournament in 2008. The report also says Kolkata Knight Rider’s co-owner Jay Mehta, who is married to actor Juhi Chawla, is “partly fronting” for Lalit Modi. Industrialist Jay Mehta denies these allegations. According to an official response from KKR, the team is wholly-owned by actor Shah Rukh Khan and Mr Mehta and there are no other shareholders. “Kolkata Knight Riders is owned by Mr Shah Rukh Khan and The Sea Islands Ltd (a company incorporated in Mauritius), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mehta International Ltd—the holding company of the Mehta Group. The shareholding pattern is as follows: Mr Shah Rukh Khan-55%; Sea Islands Ltd-45%. There are no other investors in Knight Riders Sports Private Limited,” said a spokesperson of KKR.

The report claims that Modi owns a stake in Kings XI Punjab through Akash Arora, owner of Delhi-based BPO Netlink Blue. Arora is a part-owner of the team along with Ness Wadia and Mohit Burman, according to the report. “Akash does not and has never owned a stake in our team,” said Mohit Burman. He, however, declined to categorically state that 100% of the team’s ownership rests solely with himself, Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia and Karan Paul.

Neo said...

Mps r asking to ban IPL and BCCI and take cricket under Govts control . i think they should do it immediately .

ApexHeights said...

Betting racket is at the crux of this matter.
IT sleuths can do nothing and neither will be allowed to do anything substantial and at the end all this will fade from public memomry and forgotten.


Lalit Modi involved in betting, murky deals: I-T report

NEW DELHI: ‘Mr Lalit Modi has had a trail of failed ventures and defaults till four years back but has a lifestyle now that includes a private jet, a luxury yacht and a fleet of Mercedes S class and BMW cars all acquired in the last three years.’

Thus opens a highly confidential and explosive report by the income-tax department that has been in the possession of the government for six months now but formed the basis of any action only on Thursday evening after a raging controversy over secret ownerships and sweetheart deals in the Indian Premier League, or IPL, stalled both houses of Parliament.

LINK

ApexHeights said...

Sorry , the link has already been posted above.

Neo, with so much at stake and investments / money involved, I doubt any Govt body can ban IPL without getting sued.

ApexHeights said...

for counter claims.

Neo said...

Apexheights - they can Ban IPL and appoint JPC committee and then decide if IPL is bad or good . there is definately some murky deals in IPL and no one would go to court for it . if they go they themselves will get caught in all that

ApexHeights said...

I agree there Neo , but alongwith bad elements there must be some good/ clean money. I am sure SRK or Mukesh Ambani would not get into anything murky knowingly since they are under constant media glare and will not risk other ventures.

yes for srk the Dubai link is a bit scary - so you never know.

ApexHeights said...

This is an easy way out. Hope media is relentless in its pursuit to get to the bottom of this all. Where is Dalmiya these days ?

Modi's exit foregone conclusion: BCCI sources

LINK

Pardesi said...

Aah - as usual Prem Panicker is the one to bite the bullet and shed some light on behind the scenes stuff!

The posts talks of WHY a six month old IT report was suddenly cleared for the public eye and end thus:

Update: In one of my first posts on the Tharoor-Modi spat, I had suggested that Modi, for once, over-reached, and that the affair will end with the high flier getting his wings dramatically clipped [Dammit, this "I had said" stuff is making me sound like the Times, now]. I under-estimated — word now is that Modi will be axed, by the end of the month.

Makes sense. If it was a straight Modi-Tharoor fight, the BCCI could have used it to cut LKM to size. Now it has assumed a far greater dimension, with IT, Enforcement Directorate and other investigative arms of the government getting into the act. The Board needs to build a firewall, to ensure the flames don’t singe the likes of Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel et al. And the only way to do that is to throw Modi to the wolves.

Neo said...

Apexheights there is investment in KKR from Mauritius . dont know who it is and how it came . Jay mehta says it is his but lets wait for official report .

Pardesi said...

Jay Mehta and Juhi Chawla have Mauritius based company too. How do I know? I have family in Mauritius and I know their "accounting person" from Mauritius who comes to Mumbai regularly to meet with them.

Just because it is Mauritius, that makes it illegal? Jay Mehta has disclosed that part of his KKR holdings are through his company in Mauritius. It is another story that most offshore holdings are for tax evasion purposes, BUT all the big money guys have this, including Mallya, Ambanis.

Khanabadosh said...

If ED and tax authorities were sitting on report for six month; somebody should sue them [authority and the Minister] for dereliction of duty [When Chidambram can take responsibility for CRPF personnel massacre]. Why didn't they do anything for six month? It looks more like if you come after Government we will come after you.

Neo said...

Pardesi - the problem is not lalit modi , the issue of black money converting into white is as big as modi having stake . that is what Mps were saying in LS today . that tharoor resigning and Modi going is not end . thorough investigation of everything is must .

Khanabadosh - i ahve got so used to hear this . after every bomb blasts they say IB had report 2 days back blah blah .

Pardesi said...

Offshoring is a LEGAL loophole. RR is owned in part by Rupert Murdoch, so why is a Mauritius company an issue?

Neo said...

who says they dont have a problem ? all teams r under IT scanner and RR , kings 11 most due to direct Modi links .

Pardesi said...

Most have too fragmented an ownsership - KKR are the cleanest - 55% RC and 45% Jay and Juhi.

Sav said...

"yes for srk the Dubai link is a bit scary - so you never know."

Please elaborate? I'm clueless...what Dubai link?

ApexHeights said...

The quintessential Dubai link has undone a lot of celebrities in bollywood and SRK is no exception and will not be spared even if there is minor lapse wrt to investment / reinvestment procedures.

This is also the place where the so called Mumbai mafia operates, so any wrong doing will be latched on and two and two will be added together.

We also know SRK claims a lot of his assets in Dubai are gifted to him from various sources. Since gifts are exempted from any taxation this where black money comes under play.

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