New Delhi: The two senior editors of Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia, were on Friday sent to judicial custody till December 14 in connection with the Jindal Group extortion case. The duo has filed a second bail plea that will come up for hearing on Saturday.
Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were accused by Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal of demanding Rs 100 crore from his company, Jindal Steel Power Limited (JSPL), in order to not run stories of the coal blocks allocations controversy involving the company.
Meanwhile, two other top officials from Zee News, CEO Puneet Goenka and Jawahar Goel, have joined investigations after they were served notices by the Delhi Police Crime Branch. The police had earlier sent a notice to Zee Group head Subhash Chandra too. However, his legal team claimed that he can join the probe only after December 5.
The network ran into controversy after Naveen Jindal filed a criminal case against Zee TV in October for a sting operation about his company's alleged involvement in the scam-tainted coal block allocations. Jindal alleged that he was asked for cash to stop the negative story on him.
In a press conference, Jindal also released tapes showing the conversation between Zee Business Editor Sameer Ahluwalia and his team members. "Media in our country has to be above suspicion. Media has played a crucial role in our country. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd has faced an incident on which I want to give a pure version. The way Zee TV has carried the news, it has become important for me to share," Jindal had said.
The Zee Network refuted the claims saying, "We had been running stories against Naveen Jindal, so he has hit back at us. Jindal's men approached us and offered us a bribe to stop running stories against him. (Our) editors met Jindal's representatives with a dummy contract."