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The Marine Drive police, who are waiting to record actor and team Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta’s statement, will question her on the identity and rank of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) official she had reportedly lodged a complaint with against her industrialist ex-boyfriend Ness Wadia on the night of May 30, after he allegedly molested her on the Garware Pavillion stands. While her complaint to the cricket regulator does not have a legal bearing, police said they would need to record the manner in which the complaint was communicated, whether in writing or verbally.
The actor, who has levelled charges of molestation and criminal intimidation against Wadia, in her complaint to police Friday had said she had “lodged a complaint with BCCI officials” about the alleged episode on May 30. The information is crucial, say police — as they will then have to match her allegation with CCTV footage from Garware Pavillion where the alleged episode is reported to have happened, to the immediate sequence she has reported ‘on record’ to BCCI official(s), to prepare a water-tight case.
Police sources had earlier said they would record Indian Premier League (IPL) Chief Executive Officer Sundar Raman’s statement in the case as all team owners communicate to the BCCI through him, officers maintained it is still unclear if he is the same officer that Zinta refers to in the complaint.
Police officers said all means of communication would be used to obtain clarity on the alleged incident along with the identity of the BCCI official she chose to communicate. “She has not named the BCCI official she spoke to. We will also need to know who that officer is. We will also need to establish whether she spoke to the official about the molestation incident or about something else. Was it verbal or in writing,” the officer said.
The investigating agency though was silent on what procedure will they follow with BCCI, as it was Zinta who made the first complaint. A senior official said, “She was the first one to lodge a complaint and we at the police were unaware of any such episode. At this stage we are focusing on the night of May 30. What transpired between individuals and the cricket regulator between that night and Friday is still not in our purview,” explained an officer.
The police station, meanwhile, had got the scanned portions of the footage from close circuit cameras at Garware Pavilion Sunday and have begun the “lengthy process” of identifying “guest” witnesses as seen in the stands. “The Mumbai Cricket Association has handed over the footage from different security cameras to us and we have started scanning it,” said the officer.