Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed Congress MP Naveen Jindal-owned Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, which has filed a Rs 200 crore defamation suit against a news channel, to submit the transcripts and records of the 'sting operation' on alleged extortion demand made by the channel. The order was passed by Justice SJ Kathawalla, who was hearing the defamation suit filed by JSPL against Subhash Chandra, Puneet Goenka, Sudhir Chaudhary and Sameer Ahluwalia of Zee News and Zee Business.
JSPL's lawyer and senior advocate Rafiq Dada argued that despite being given correct documents, the channel ran stories about JSPL's alleged involvement in the coal block allotment scam based on "wrong" facts. Advocate Darius Khambata, appearing for the media conglomerate, opposed the suit saying JSPL had leveled baseless allegations.
After filing the defamation suit, Jindal had come out with a video wherein the editors of the Subhash Chandra-led media group purportedly demand Rs 100 crore for not airing the stories against JSPL on coal block allocation. Zee News had on October 27 filed a counter defamation suit of Rs 150 crore against JSPL, alleging the video had been doctored and it was the steelmaker which had tried to bribe the channel, a charge denied by JSPL.
Zee alleged JSPL was trying to malign the channel as it (the channel) had been in the forefront in covering the coal allocation scam. Justice Kathawala on Tuesday said considering the fact that serious allegations such as blackmail and extortion had been levelled against Zee, the petitioner would have to submit transcripts and recordings of its sting video. The matter has been posted for hearing on November 26.