New Delhi: An irate Preity Zinta hit back at the media on Wednesday after reports that she was questioned for over 10 hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the second season of the Indian Premier League.
The ED is said to have recorded the statement of Zinta, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab. Zinta said she was questioned for four hours and not 11 as reported.
"As usual the India media excels in distorting and making up stories. Four hours is not 11hours and every IPL team has been for this meeting not just us," Zinta tweeted on Wednesday.
"She complied with the summons issued to her by us", said an ED official. The Press Trust of India reported that Zinta (38) appeared before the ED authorities at 10 AM and her statement was recorded for over ten hours, quoting the official.
Former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, cricketer Ravi Shastri, who were on the IPL governing council, besides actor and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, had earlier been questioned in connection with alleged irregularities in conduct of IPL-2 held in South Africa.
The second edition of IPL was held in South Africa in 2009 after the venue was shifted from India. It is alleged that ill-gotten money flowed into the T-20 tournament from foreign tax havens. The ED had in 2011 issued a notice to BCCI and former IPL chairman Lalit Modi over an alleged contravention of foreign exchange rules and evasion of taxes during the second season of the IPL.
The second edition of the tournament which came under the scanner also led to the sacking of the then commissioner Lalit Modi for alleged financial irregularities in the organisation of the tournament. The ED had alleged that the BCCI and Modi had opened and operated a bank account in South Africa without informing the Reserve Bank of India and nearly Rs 1,650 crore was transferred from India without following the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) norms.
Zinta, along with Ness Wadia and others, had acquired the ownership rights in 2008 for the Mohali-based Twenty20 cricket team of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for USD 76 million. ED is conducting the overall probe into the finances of the IPL and its organisers in context with the second edition of IPL.
The agency had asked BCCI to furnish all the permissions and records it obtained from the RBI for funding the offshore activities of the IPL during the second edition in its notices.