Close on the heels of revelations about former IPL chief Lalit Modi’s alleged "beneficial interest" in three teams, emails have emerged that connect him, Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta and other stakeholders in the team, according to a media report on Friday.
On May 19, an Australia-based attorney sent an email to Modi and his brother Samir Modi with an attached draft trust deed referring to the tainted former Indian Premier League head’s alleged "beneficial interest" in three teams.
The email did not identify the teams but a separate trail of emails has connected Modi, Zinta, other stakeholders in Kings XI Punjab and Sanjivan Sahani, who works for Modi, The Indian Express reported.
"Let’s agree to sell. Please communicate with mohit," Modi wrote to Sahani on November 22, 2014 in an email. This was in response to a "self-explanatory" mail that Zinta sent to Modi on November 21, 2014, which referred to a possible "deal" and included a short note: "Hey Lalit, FYI".
Zinta’s email, reviewed by The Indian Express, was copied to Mohit Burman, Gaurav Burman, Kapil Khanna and Ness Wadia.
In the email, Zinta wrote: "The email below is self-explanatory and next week we will get the other paperwork and final time lines to move ahead with this deal."
According to the daily, she added: "This person has been vetted by the BCCI also and is a decent business man with a Punjabi background. Let me know your thoughts and pls keep this to yourselves as no one should know about (it) till the deal is done and signed off by us and BCCI. He is also ready to put money in escrow as we move forward so let’s make this happen and close it."
Responding to a questionnaire sent by The Indian Express to enquire about the "deal", a Kings XI Punjab spokesperson stated the email was a "general inquiry… about an offer".
The spokesperson denied Modi had "any stake or interest whatsoever" in the team and identified Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta and Karan Paul as the "stakeholders of KXIP".
The spokesperson said: "Lalit Modi has been known to the stakeholders of KXIP because when the IPL was established by him in 2008, KXIP was one of the allotted teams. Due to his knowledge on the subject, a general enquiry was made by the stakeholders about an offer they had received from an interested party. There is nothing more to it."
The spokesperson added: "KXIP is surprised to note the contents of your email and the enquiry made for a story based on a few leaked personal emails. The questions raised are based on the emails being interpreted out of context. Lalit Modi does not have any stake or interest whatsoever in KXIP. The stakeholders of KXIP are Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta and Karan Paul."
The Indian Express had reported on August 27 about a draft trust deed in the form of a "letter agreement" that was part of a fresh set of emails purportedly linked to Modi.
Attorney Dean Kino’s email on May 19 referred to point 5 of the "agreement" and stated: "They will jointly own the beneficial interest currently owned by Lalit in three IPL teams, provided, however that in the event Lalit and Samir agree not to jointly own the Acquired KK Trust Assets and instead, they separately take and hold their share of the acquired KK Trust Assets, then as soon as Samir receives his share of the Acquired KK Trust Assets, his interest in the IPL teams will be transferred back to Lalit."
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is planning to approach Interpol and British authorities for Modi’s deportation to India after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him.
The ED had asked Modi to join its probe into alleged irregularities in IPL contracts during 2007-2010 when he helmed the league.