A Delhi court on Thursday rejected the Delhi Police plea to conduct lie-detector tests on Zee News journalists Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia in connection with the Rs. 100 crore extortion attempt case filed by Congress MP Naveen Jindal's firm.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Rao dismissed the Delhi Police crime branch's plea, saying the accused persons could not be forced to undergo lie-detector tests as it would violate their right against self-incrimination.
The order comes as a setback to the crime branch that wanted to subject Chaudhary, Ahluwalia and Zee chairman Subhash Chandra to lie-detector tests, claiming there were "contradictions" in the statements of the journalist duo and Chandra.
The court, however, cleared Chandra to undergo the test following a go-ahead from his doctors after he appeared before it to formally give his consent. Chandra and his son Puneet Goenka, managing director (MD) of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, had joined the investigation on December 8 after a sessions court on December 6 granted them interim protection from arrest till December 14.
As the interim protection from arrest given to Chandra and his son is due to end, the court will take up his bail application on Friday.
The arrested Zee editors too have moved their third bail application, which is likely to be taken up with Chandra's plea.
Arrested on November 27, the two journalists have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.