New Delhi, Dec 10: A Delhi court Monday sent two Zee journalists to judicial custody till Dec 22 for an alleged bid to extort Rs.100-crore from a Jindal Group firm. Police have sought permission to conduct a lie detector test on the two accused.
Metropolitan Magistrate Sudhanshu Kaushik sent the two senior journalists to judicial custody and posted the matter for Dec 12, to hear the applications filed by police.
Sudhir Chaudhary, head of Zee News, and Samir Ahluwalia, head of Zee Business, were arrested here Nov 27 on charges of attempting to extort Rs.100 crore from Jindal Power and Steel Ltd. in exchange for not filing news reports linking the firm to the irregular coal blocks allocation.
Police moved an application seeking permission to conduct a lie detector test on the two journalists and Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra, whose two-day questioning ended Sunday.
The investigators also sought permission to conduct a voice sample test on the two journalists.
Chandra and Zee Group managing director Puneet Goenka and the two journalists were brought face-to-face and were questioned Saturday and Sunday.
Police booked both the journalists under Sections 384 (extortion), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Before arresting Chaudhary and Ahluwalia, police also charged them under Section 420 (cheating).
Meanwhile, Zee News counsel today moved the court demanding interrogation of industrialist and Congress MP Naveen Jindal, his brother Prithvi Jindal and uncle Sitaram Jindal in the sting case.
Zee News Ltd (ZNL) counsel Vijay Aggarwal on Monday moved an application under sec 156 of the CrPc questioning Delhi Police for carrying out a one-sided investigation.
The counsel moved the court asking it to monitor the investigation as Delhi Police was focusing solely on what he called “ the false complaint” by Naveen Jindal.
The counsel demanded that all phone call records of all the phones used by Naveen Jindal and his relatives to contact Zee News Non-Executive Chairman should be seized.
The counsel demands that the court should instruct the Investigating Officer of the Delhi Police to compare contradictions in Jindal's FIR of October 2, 2012 and his petition filed in Mumbai High Court as an afterthought.
The court asked Delhi Police to respond by Dec 19 on the Zee counsel's application.