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Preity aide signals soft line

- Case against ex-boyfriend Ness

Mumbai, June 17: Preity Zinta is ready to tone down her complaint against ex-boyfriend Ness Wadia when she records a supplementary statement, an adviser of the actress said today amid reports a settlement was being worked out.

Mumbai police have sent Preity summons to appear by Thursday and record her statement. “We have asked her through her lawyer to be present in person on Thursday at the Marine Drive police station and record her statement. If she cannot do that, she can let us know by the weekend a date convenient for her to record the statement,” said a top police source.

Preity, who is in Los Angeles, has asked officers if she can email her statement. The police will take a call on this by tomorrow.

“She is not a malicious person. She has already tweeted once that she does not want to cause anybody any harm. Ness threatened her publicly and has been abusive towards her before. She wants an end to this circus. All she seeks now is a restraining order against Ness,” a close adviser of Preity told The Telegraph today. The actress and Kings XI Punjab co-owner has accused Ness of outraging her modesty during an IPL match in Mumbai last month.

A “restraining order”, which can be passed by the police or courts, comes in various forms. “A restraining order, or order of protection, is a form of legal injunction that requires a party to do, or to refrain from doing, certain acts. Breaches can lead to arrest or fines,” said Mumbai lawyer Nidhi Kamble.

Preity has indicated, according to the police sources, that she would like to record her statement under Section 161 of the CrPC. A statement recorded under this section — before a police officer — can be withdrawn and will not remain acceptable in court. This is unlike another provision, Section 164 of the CrPC, where the testimony is made before a magistrate and cannot be withdrawn.

The police today summoned Kings XI Punjab chief operating officer Fraser Castellino for questioning over the alleged incident that occurred between Preity and Ness at Wankhede Stadium on May 30.

Preity had named two Mumbai businessmen as witnesses — one of them has recorded his statement, while the other is abroad.

The police are seeking more witnesses and want Castellino — who distributed 50 tickets among Preity and Ness’s friends and family members at the Garware Pavilion of Wankhede where the alleged assault and abuse took place — to name more people who might have witnessed the incident.

A dispute over seats in the packed pavilion was said to have triggered an altercation between Ness and Preity leading up to the alleged assault.

Preity has also claimed that she had informed IPL commissioner Sundar Raman about Ness’s alleged misbehaviour and had warned she would approach the police. Raman, she had claimed, had asked her to “cool down”.

Raman’s statement is likely to be recorded tomorrow but the police source said he had denied in a phone conversation having told Preity anything like that.

The police have also asked cricket board BCCI to provide a complete list of spectators in the pavilion who had watched the Kings XI Punjab versus Chennai Superkings match that day.

Preity had claimed she had also informed IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal. He too could record his statement tomorrow.