The Delhi Police on Monday moved a city court, requesting to conduct lie dectector test on Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra and two senior Zee News journalists in connection with the alleged R100 crore extortion bid case.
The move confirmed that the police are now treating Chandra as a “suspect” in the case after he was confronted with Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia — the two arrested journalists — on Saturday. “Contradictions were found in the statements given by them. Chaudhary and Ahluwalia had said that their boss knew about the alleged deal with industrialist Navin Jindal’s firm while Chandra denied having any knowledge about it. This prompted us to seek a lie-detector test,” sources said, explaining the move. The police believe that Chandra and the two editors were hiding facts.
“Also, Chandra knew about the meetings the two editors had with Jindal’s representatives in September during which they had tried to extort R100 crore from Jindal for not airing news reports against his company,” said a senior police officer.
The police moved three applications before Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sudhanshu Kaushik. Apart from the lie detector test on the editor duo and Chandra, the police have also moved an application for a voice sample test of the arrested journalists.
The voice sample would be matched with the recording of the conversation between Jindal Steel Private Ltd representatives and the two journalists.
Magistrate Kaushik fixed December 12 for hearing the police applications. He remanded the arrested duo — Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business editor Samir Ahluwalia— to judicial custody till December 22.
The police also want to conduct the test since the questioning of Chandra and his son Puneet Goenka, who is also Zee News group MD, did not yield much.
Chandra and Goenka joined the investigations on Saturday after a sessions court December 6 granted them interim protection from arrest till December 14.
Alleging that the police were not probing the matter properly, Zee counsel Vijay Aggarwal moved an application seeking monitoring of the investigation by the court. The application also called for the call records of Navin Jindal, his brother Prithvi and uncle Sitaram for the months of September to November 2012. The application also mentioned that the investigating officer failed to consider the defamation suit filed by the Jindal group in the Bombay high court.
A magisterial court had on Saturday sent Chaudhary and Ahluwalia to police custody for two days for the investigators to confront them with Chandra and Goenka for collecting “evidence” in the alleged extortion bid case.