ED may quiz Kundra as Shilpa tweets ‘Stop Press’
A day after Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar confirmed Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra’s involvement in betting, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) mulled over quizzing Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty in connection with the entire IPL controversy. Earlier, Shilpa tweeted that the press should stop what she called was ‘misconstrued’ news.
Kundra has already been questioned once by ED in connection with a money laundering case. In the said case, the directorate had slapped a penalty of Rs 100 crore on Rajasthan Royals, as the franchise was found to be violating sections of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Awaiting report by the Delhi police, the ED is contemplating to question Kundra as an individual and examine his personal transactions. ‘Since new leads have emerged, we may question Kundra and his wife again,’ the ED sources said. The agency is independently probing the IPL scandal apart from Delhi and Mumbai police. Meanwhile, the Delhi police decided to go slow on arresting Kundra despite his confession of being involved in betting. ‘He could be booked under the Gambling Act. However, Delhi police is citing lack of evidence as a reason for delay in his apprehension,’ a source said.
When asked about booking Kundra for gambling like Mumbai police, the Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar on Friday said that, ‘We don’t have supporting material evidence. I do not know the details of Mumbai Police’s investigations. So I cannot comment on them. But we will go after somebody only if we have material evidence to back our investigations.’ He added, ‘We are yet to decide on Shilpa. We always keep our options open. Ours is not a short term investigation which are going to close in the next two or three days. It’s going to take time. Let us see how things unfold.’ Kumar also said that Shilpa Shetty placed bets of Rs one lakh for an IPL match.
Raj Kundra, 37, was born into a ‘simple middle-class’ family in London. However, by 2004, according to a UK magazine, he became the 198th richest British Asian. He is known to spend lavishly and owns bungalows in different places including India, London and Dubai. Their bungalow Raj Mahal in Saint George Hill is worth Rs 100 crores.
Meanwhile, the beleaguered Rajasthan Royals management on Friday sought to distance itself from Raj Kundra saying that he had no involvement in running of the franchise and would be suspended if found guilty. ‘As a franchise, we have always been clear that the same rules apply to players, management or owners. As such, our actions will be consistent as in the case of the spot fixing allegations with respect to our players,’ Rajasthan Royals Chairman Ranjit Barthakur and CEO Raghu Iyer said in a statement. Turn to PG14