New Delhi: Delhi Police on Tuesday told a court here that it would need the custody of two Zee News channel editors to confront them with group Chairman Subhash Chandra and his son in the case of their alleged bid to extort Rs 100 crore from a Congress MP Naveen Jindal's group firm.
The Crime Branch of Delhi Police, which is probing the case, said Zee News head Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business Editor Samir Ahluwalia, who are presently in judicial custody, are required in its custody to quiz them in front of Chandra and his son Punit Goenka on December 8. The court was told that Essel Group Chairman Chandra and Goenka, a Managing Director of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, have been served with notice to join investigation on December 8.
The police in its application to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mukesh Kumar said they need the custody of Chaudhary and Ahluwalia only for a day. The application is likely to be taken up for hearing in a day or two by the court. Both of the arrested journalists, presently lodged in Tihar have been booked under section 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC.
The court had rejected their bail pleas yesterday saying they have not given any new ground for their release on bail in their fresh applications after dismissal of their first ones on November 28.
Till date, Zee News Sales Head Amit Tripathi, Managing Director of Dish TV Jawahar Goel and Zee Group Legal Advisor A Mohan have joined the investigation and recorded their statements, while Chandra and Goenka are likely to join the investigation soon. Delhi Police had served two notices to Chandra last month asking him to join the investigations after the arrest of Zee Editors for their alleged extortion bid of Rs 100 crore from Jindal's company for not telecasting reports linking it to coal block allocation scam.
In a letter to Delhi Police through his lawyer RK Handoo, the Zee Group Chairman had claimed "vested interests" have created a public "mis-impression" that he is deliberately not joining investigations. Terming the campaign as "vicious", "malafide" and "unwarranted", the letter said Chandra had informed the police on November 27 that he went ahead with his "pre-scheduled" meetings and engagements in India and abroad.