Mumbai: An embattled Raj Kundra, co-owner of Rajasthan Royals team, who is facing accusations of betting on IPL matches, on Friday claimed innocence and said he would be willing to forfeit his shares in the franchise if found guilty. "I was called by Delhi Police since I am a minority shareholder of Rajasthan Royals and a few questions were put to me to which I have satisfactorily answered," Kundra, husband of actress Shilpa Shetty, said in a statement.
"I would like to reiterate that I am innocent and equally anxious to know as to what went wrong within the Rajasthan Royals. In case anything is established against me I shall be willing to forfeit my shares in Rajasthan Royals," he said. His statement comes in the backdrop of media reports that he had confessed to Delhi Police about his involvement in betting on IPL matches.
"There is nothing behind which to hide and my silence till now should not be misconstrued as by nature I am a reserved person," he said in the statement issued by his counsel and noted criminal lawyer Majeed Memon. Kundra said he was prepared to extend all assistance and share all knowledge and information he had with the police.
"There is nothing more to say but I express my thanks to all those who have stood by me," he said. Memon said Kundra had appointed him as his legal counsel and that he would decide the future course of strategy to represent the Rajasthan Royals co-owner at all forums. Earlier in the day, as it faced the grim prospect of termination, Rajasthan Royals distanced itself from a beleaguered Kundra, saying he had no involvement in running of the franchise and would be suspended if found guilty.
Two top officials of the franchise said he would also forfeit his shares if he had breached any regulations. "Mr Raj Kundra is a minority (11.7 per cent) shareholder, and he has no involvement in the running of the franchise. We believe that Mr Raj Kundra is a law abiding citizen and would not act contrary to law. If however, he is proven guilty, or has breached any regulations, he will be suspended, and he will also forfeit his shares. This is a strict governance procedure agreed to by all Rajasthan Royals shareholders, and it is consistent with our zero tolerance approach," Rajasthan Royals Chairman Ranjit Barthakur and CEO Raghu Iyer said in a statement.
Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty have 11.7 per cent stakes in Rajasthan Royals through Kuki Investment. Suresh Chellaram and Family (Tresco International Limited) have the bulk of the shares with 44.2 per cent while Manoj Badale (Emerging Media) has 32.4 per cent stakes. Lachlan Murdoch (Blue Water Estate Limited) has 11.7 per cent stakes.