Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab deny any wrongdoing

Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab deny any wrongdoing

New Delhi: Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) denied any wrongdoing on Tuesday after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar raised questions over their ownership structure.

franchise and KXIP among the charges against dismissed IPL chairman Lalit Modi. Manohar said questions had arisen about their ownership structure.

The statement came as Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt. Ltd, promoter of RR, as well as Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri, who own Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), were sent show-cause notices for alleged violations of the Companies Act, according to PTI, which quoted unnamed officials as saying they had been given 15 days to respond.

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“After expiry of notice period, criminal proceedings will be filed against the companies and the directors," the registrar of companies, Mumbai, informed the ministry of corporate affairs, a PTI report said, adding the notices were sent for not filing mandatory yearly returns.

Modi was sacked on five broad charges, including one that he had kept the board in the dark on several IPL bids and contracts, especially those related to RR and KXIP, based in Mohali.

“The Rajasthan Royals franchise bid was successful, with full compliance of BCCI guidelines, in a process conducted with the committee members of BCCI in January 2008," said the statement by RR, the bid for which was led by UK-based Emerging Media.

Full details of the consortium bid structure and the way the company would be set up were included in the original submission to BCCI in January 2008, it said. “The structure has been completely transparent and in accordance with regulatory guidelines ever since," the statement read.

On Tuesday, owners of KXIP said they would divulge their shareholding details. “We will issue a press release to clarify our stand," said Mohit Burman, a director at Dabur India Ltd and co-owner of KXIP.

Other owners of the Mohali franchise are Bollywood actor Preity Zinta; Ness Wadia, joint managing director of Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Co. Ltd; and Karan Paul, chairman of Apeejay-Surrendra Group. “There are no irregularities in the ownership and running of the team," added Burman.

The controversy around the IPL franchises erupted when Modi exposed the shareholding structure of the consortium that won the bid for the new Kochi team, leading to revelations that Sunanda Pushkar, an associate of minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor, held Rs70 crore of sweat equity in the franchise. Tharoor later resigned.

Modi was reprimanded for breaching a confidentiality clause by disclosing the Kochi team’s shareholding pattern in a move that put the ownership of all IPL teams under the scanner, including RR in which Modi’s relatives have a substantial stake.

KKR is also under the lens over an alleged indirect stake Modi owns in the franchise. KKR executives did not respond to Mint’s queries.

Conflict of interest issues have been raised over Chennai Super Kings, owned by India Cements Ltd, because BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan is the cement firm’s vice-chairman and managing director.

“The team owner India Cements is a publicly listed company," said spokesperson and marketing head of the franchise, Rakesh Singh. “We don’t need to offer any clarification on this."

UB Group, which owns Royal Challengers Bangalore, responded similarly. “We are a listed company, so no statement has been issued on the team shareholding. But we have given the name of the directors to the people concerned," said Vijay Rekhi, president of United Spirits Ltd.