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May 16, 2013 at 08:10pm IST

ZEE vs Jindal: Court rejects Chandra's plea for modification of order

New Delhi: A Delhi court has dismissed a plea of Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra for modifying a court's order directing him to take its prior permission before going abroad in a case of alleged Rs 100 crore extortion bid from MP Naveen Jindal's firm by the two editors of the news channel.

Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash said this condition was imposed on Chandra for the purpose of facilitating the pending investigation in the case of alleged extortion bid by Zee News Editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business Editor Samir Ahluwalia.

The court, after hearing the arguments, dismissed the plea saying, "it is informed that applicant Subhash Chandra is not cooperating with investigation agencies and is also not giving clear and unambiguous answers put by the investigation agency."

Court rejects Chandra's plea for modification of order

The court, while dismissing Chandra's plea, said that December 20, 2012 was "neither a regular bail order nor an anticipatory bail order".

"The application filed by the applicant/accused Subhash Chandra for modification in the order dated December 20, 2012 is dismissed," the judge said. Chandra had approached the court for modification of order passed on December 20, 2012 in which Delhi Police was told to give 10 working days time to Chandra and his son

if it wanted to arrest them in connection with the case and had also imposed a condition on Zee Group chairman that he will not leave the country without its prior permission.

Seeking waiver of the condition imposed on him, Chandra's counsel argued that his client was implicated in the case merely because he is the head of the company and filing of such applications for going abroad has wasted "precious time" of the court as well as the advocates.

He also told the court that after December 20, 2012 order, Chandra has joined the probe and has gone abroad five times after taking permission of the court. The lawyer argued that the order should be modified with condition that Chandra will only inform the court about his foreign trips.

The police had opposed Chandra's plea saying the condition cannot be modified as it was not a bail order. The court, while dismissing the plea, said that December 20 last year order was "neither a regular bail order nor an anticipatory bail order".

"Hence, it is not a bail order at all rather it is an order with respect to giving 10 days notice in the event of arrest. In such situation, the condition was imposed as there was investigation pending," it said. The judge also observed that,"the condition was for the purpose of facilitating the pending investigation against the accused as there was allegation that accused Subhash Chandra is ultimately beneficiary to illegal demand of Rs 100 crore from the complainant which condition cannot be changed or removed."

The court on December 20, 2012 had passed the order while disposing of the anticipatory bail plea of Chandra and his son, Puneet Goenka, managing director at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.

The Delhi Police had earlier told the court that Chaudhary and Ahluwalia have not acted alone and the whole episode was planned in collusion with seniors of Zee Group in a conspiracy hatched to extort Rs 100 crore for their channel. Both Chaudhary and Ahluwalia, who were arrested by Delhi Police on November 27, were granted bail on December 17.

They have been booked under section 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with life or other imprisonment) of the IPC.

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