“Minister allegedly used official position to get Kochi IPL team for Rendezvous”

The Supreme Court has been moved for a CBI probe into alleged proxy stakes of Union Minister of State for External Affairs Sashi Tharoor in the Kochi-based Rendezvous Sports World Ltd.-led consortium that won the bid for an Indian Premier League team for Rs 1,533-crore.

Advocate Ajay Agrawal, who filed this petition, said the court could alternatively order a probe by a special investigation team. He said he would make a mention on April 15 for early listing of the case.

The petitioner said the Minister allegedly used his official position to get the Kochi IPL team for the consortium led by Rendezvous, a company in which, according to reports, Sunanda Pushkar had 19 per cent free stakes. Mr. Agrawal said she was the Minister's friend, and he had a reasonable apprehension that hawala and black money might have also played a big role in the Kochi IPL team obtaining the franchise.

Mr. Tharoor already issued a statement which said: “A consortium led by Rendezvous was set up to bid for an IPL team. They approached me for help and guidance. I steered them towards Kerala. Rendezvous includes a number of people, including many I have never met, and Ms. Sunanda Pushkar, whom I know well. My role in mentoring the consortium included several conversations with Mr. Lalit Modi [IPL chairman], who guided us through the process and presented himself as a trusted friend.”

On his interests in the franchise, the Minister said: “I repeat that I am proud to have helped the consortium come to Kerala. I have neither invested nor received a rupee for my mentorship of the team.”

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