Why should anyone get free of cost equity? | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Why should anyone get free of cost equity?

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi spoke exclusively to HT, from Mumbai, to put on record his views on the issues that have been raised in the wake of the Kochi team auction.

jaipur Updated: Apr 15, 2010 00:01 IST
K S Tomar

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi spoke exclusively to HT, from Mumbai, to put on record his views on the issues that have been raised in the wake of the Kochi team auction.

What is the Kochi franchise issue? And what exactly is Shashi Tharoor's role in it?

It is not a crime to investigate the validity and credibility of the shareholders in the Kochi franchisee. Shashi Tharoor is telling a white lie about his unsuccessful attempt to influence the investigation. Why don't you check my mobile records as well as his? Why is Tharoor's Officer on Special Duty jumping up and down these days? If his boss has done nothing, then why does he need to be illogical and unreasonable? Why is the Rendezvous owner reacting so sharply? All except four shareholders were present at the meeting. Nobody knew about them. In the middle of the meeting I got a phone call from Tharoor. It was 12.30 pm. He asked me not to dig out the identity of the shareholders. I want to know from the Kochi owners, Rendezvous, who the shareholders are who have a 25 per cent stake in the team?

What is the crux of the problem?

The real issue is, why should anyone get free of cost and non-diluteable equity of 25 per cent? It means such stakeholders will continue to get this advantage irrespective of losses or money required in future.

What about the allegation that you offered the Kochi bid winners $50m to walk away?

It is baseless and a figment of his (team owner's) imagination. I met him at the conference and thereafter at the Maurya Sheraton Hotel where all the owners were present. We also met during the signing ceremony and that is it. I want to know from him where I met him and made this offer.

What about your own track record as IPL Commissioner?

I am clean, but look at the track record of some members of the BCCI. I did not buy stakes even though there was no ban from the BCCI on doing so. Chairman N. Srinivasan bought a stake and that was OK. My brother-in-law and stepson bought the stakes and they had the right to do like all others who participated in the auction. Preity Zinta is close to me and Joy Mehta also happens to be my close friend of mine. They have also bought the franchses.

What about the allegations against your relatives?

Emerging media is a company that has 100% holdings overseas. The IPL Jaipur team has been bought by its subsidiary company. My relatives who bought the IPL shares are people of substance residing abroad and they did it in the open.

Do you know Sunanda Pushkar?

I did not know who she was. I met her next morning after the auction. I came to know later about her ownership of a stake in the Kochi team.