New Delhi: Congress MP Naveen Jindal has filed a criminal case against Zee TV 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 dramatic press conference on Thursday, 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 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."
The Zee Television group had on Monday denied the allegation made by Jindal against the channel that it had sought advertisement commitments worth crores of rupees. "This kind of allegation has happened in the past and may happen in the future. It doesn't make any difference to us and we will stick to the truth. These are all pressure tactics," Zee Entertainment Enterprises managing director and chief executive Punit Goenka had said.
Zee News had also alleged that Jindal misbehaved with a team of its reporters after they sought clarifications from him on the allegations levelled against his company for alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks. Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra had also said his journalists were not involved in any wrongdoing and asserted that the accusations were false.
The big questions
- Does the Jindal expose of Zee editors seriously dent the reputation of the media?
- Should editors have been sent out on business assignments by Zee TV management?
- Is the expose a strategy by Jindal to force Zee to stop coverage of the coal scam?
(With additional information from PTI)
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