Even as the din around the molestation allegations levelled by Bollywood star Preity Zinta against her ex-boyfriend Ness Wadia refuses to die down, The Telegraph reported that both parties have started exploring the possibility of settling the case outside court. The report added that it would focus on a buyout of Zinta's 23 percent stake in Kings XI Punjab.
The newspaper reports:
The points being discussed for the settlement include the sale of Preity’s stake in Kings XI Punjab, according to sources who did not want to be named. “She is keen to sell her IPL stake and shift to the US after this very public row with Ness. She has bought herself property in Los Angeles, where she spends most of her time nowadays. She is in India only during the IPL season,” said a friend of Preity.
Preity and Ness each own 23 per cent stake in the company that owns the team. Mohit Burman of Dabur holds 46 per cent while Karan Paul of the Apeejay Surrendra Group and the Delhi-based Root Investment also own some stake.
However Zinta's lawyer has denied that this is the case, adding they are yet to take a decision on when to re-record her statement against Wadia, in which she accused him of abusing her in public and harassing her.
Zinta's letter, which was converted into an FIR asked that a case be registered against Wadia under section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman), which is a non-compoundable charge. This means that the case cannot be settled between the two unless Zinta withdraws her complaint.
In her complaint letter to the police, which was later converted into an FIR, Zinta said: "I… request you to look in the matter at the earliest and as per law, register an FIR u/s 354, 506 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code against Mr Ness Wadia for physically and mentally torturing me, criminally intimidating me and insulting me in public by speaking ill against my character."
The 39-year-old actress had filed a police complaint last week alleging that she was molested by Wadia (44) inside Wankhede stadium on 30 May when the IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings was being played. The Marine Drive police station has lodged and FIR and investigations are ongoing.
Both Zinta and Wadia own 23 percent stake each in the Kings XI Punjab, which recently declared profit for the first time.
Zinta's letter against Wadia has caused a furore in public circles, with great debate over the use of the term 'molestation' in her FIR. One of her most vocal critics has been Tavleen Singh who said, "Shame on Preity Zinta for making a molestation out of a tiff between ex-lovers. When little girls are raped and hanged for nothing."
"This is an actress having a tiff with her ex-boyfriend. It's not like he is a murderer", she later said on a show aired on the NDTV news channel.
It is for law enforcement to determine whether the charges made in the FIR are trivial or not. It’s not for Tavleen Singh or the rest of us pontificating on Twitter to know or pre-suppose. If Singh has proof otherwise she has plenty of forums to expose it instead of tweeting unsubstantiated allegations.
The irony is if Preity Zinta had actually been turned away by the police when she went to file that FIR many of those now mocking her would be pointing fingers saying “Look if a famous actress and co-owner of an IPL team cannot get an FIR filed what hope is there for a poor Dalit family in the back of beyond?” The law ideally should demonstrate equal alacrity and fairness when it comes to a poor family in Badaun and a Preity Zinta. But to use the plight of one to dismiss the claims of the other does no one, least of all women, any favours.
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Updated Date: Jun 17, 2014 14:06:53 IST