The Corporate Affairs Ministry is learnt to have found no recorded evidence so far of sweat equity being given to Sunanda Pushkar [ Images ], a close friend of former union minister Shashi Tharoor [ Images ], by owners of the Kochi IPL team, Rendezvous Sports.
According to a senior MCA official, there is no documentary evidence that sweat equity was given to anyone by the Kochi IPL owner as yet.
"It could be oral arrangement between the company and Sunanda Pushkar, but nothing on paper," the official said.
The Registrar of Companies (RoC) has written to the MCA that there is no mention of any sweat equity been given to anyone by the franchisee of the Kochi IPL team, sources said.
The RoC had filed its report to the MCA after studying all the documents, like memorandum of association/articles of association and a report from the statutory auditor who certified that no sweat equity was issued.
The MCA's finding is in contrast to Sunanda Pushkar's admission that she was being given sweat equity in return of her services as an adviser on branding and marketing to Rendezvous Sports.
As per media reports, the IPL Kochi franchise owner paid her about Rs 70 crore, which was equivalent to 19 per cent equity in Rendezvous Sports.
"I am rendering services for Kochi franchise. (I) have advised them in getting IPL. I am also advising them on marketing and branding and hence I am getting sweat equity. It is only on paper now. I have not yet got it," Pushkar had said when the IPL controversy broke out.
She had also denied that she was acting as the front person to Tharoor in the Kochi IPL franchise.
Asked what could be the next, the MCA official said the next step on the issue would now depend on Minister Salman Khurshid's decision.
"We are waiting for the Minister's decision on what to do next since much was said about on the sweat equity issue," the official said.
Suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi [ Images ] had sparked off the controversy by making public that Pushkar was given sweat equity by Rendezvous Sports in the Kochi team.
Subsequently, a slew of investigations into the IPL were carried out by various agencies. The MCA had last month asked RoCs of different regions to seek ownership details of all 10 IPL franchisees, including the controversial Kochi IPL team.
The controversy also led to suspension of Modi, the brain behind the very concept of the IPL Twenty-20 cricket, as IPL commissioner by the Board of Control for Cricket in India [ Images ].