Tuesday 26 July 2016
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Priety-Ness Case: Four Witnesses Deny Argument Between Couple

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Four more witnesses listed by industrialist Ness Wadia, accused of molesting, abusing Bollywood actress Preity Zinta during an IPL match on May 30 at Wankhede Stadium, have testified before the investigators, denying any arguments between the estranged couple, police said today.

The statements of four more witnesses -- Rustom Lawyer, his wife Gia Lawyer, Nicholas Chen and Saumitra Srivastava, who were present in the stadium on May 30, were recorded yesterday, an officer at Marine Drive police station said.

None of the four corroborated Zinta's claims that Wadia had misbehaved with her before abusing and threatening her on the fateful day, police said.

According to police, witness Lawyer, a senior corporate professional, said, "During the match, Ness went up to Preity and had a short conversation with her. Then we (Lawyer and his wife Gia) saw Ness walk away and we could not hear the conversation due to the loud noise in the stadium.

Neither Ness nor Preity seemed upset after their brief conversation and continued watching the match and cheering for their team. Not at any moment did anything appear out of the ordinary."

Gia's testimony was also on the lines of her husband and denied having seen any sort of disagreement or heated exchange of words between Preity and Ness, the officer said.

Businessman Nicholas claimed, "Never during the conversation between the two, did I see Ness abuse, shout and touch or grab Zinta's hand.

Saumitra, a city based management consultant who also arrived at the stadium and was searching for a seat, told police, "I noticed Ness with his family standing at the back since their seats were occupied and they too had nowhere to sit.

After some time, I noticed him (Ness) at the front row having a conversation with Preity. I could not hear what they said nor it looked anything more than a normal conversation, so I didn't pay any attention."

In her police complaint registered in June, Zinta had accused her former boyfriend of molesting, abusing and threatening her during an IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings on May 30 at Wankhede Stadium in South Mumbai.

However, Ness has dismissed the actor's charges. He is yet to be summoned by the investigators. Despite their break-up, Wadia and Zinta continue to co-own Kings XI Punjab.

Among those whose statements has been recorded are IPL Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman, BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel and COO of Kings XI Punjab Fraser Castellino.

Witnesses Danish Merchant, Jai Kanojia and Parul Khanna have told the police that Wadia had 'pulled' Zinta by hand during a 'heated' argument, while Castellino said he did not see any fight or argument between the two.

Ness had given a list of witnesses and requested the police to record their statements. Farah Oomerbhoy, listed by Ness, had said in her statement that there was no heated argument between the two and she did not see him pulling Zinta by her arm on the day of the alleged incident.

However, Savan Daru, a businessman, had claimed before the police that Zinta had hurled hard words at the Wadia group's scion.

PLACES: Mumbai
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