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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Ready to join investigations: Zee Group chairman

PTI  New Delhi, December 03, 2012
First Published: 23:24 IST(3/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:25 IST(3/12/2012)

Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra today informed police that he is prepared to appear before them in connection with the alleged extortion bid by two senior editors of his channel within four days of notice.

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Delhi Police had served two notices to Chandra last month asking him to join investigations after the arrest of Zee editors Sudhir Chaudhury and Samir Ahluwalia for their alleged extortion bid of Rs. 100 crore from Congress MP Naveen Jindal's company for not airing news damaging to it.

In a letter to Delhi Police through his lawyer R K Handoo, the Zee Group Chairman claimed that "vested interests" have created a public "mis-impression" that he is deliberately not joining investigations.

Terming the campaign as "vicious", "malafide" and "unwarranted", the letter said Chandra has informed police on November 27 that he went ahead with his "pre-scheduled" meetings and engagements in India and abroad.

The letter also noted that as chairman of Essel Group, he has his meetings planned nearly two months in advance and any abrupt change not only affects the schedule of other businesses but also brings disrepute to him.

"That is why to honour his commitments in India and abroad, my client had well in advance and before your arrest action, requested you to adjourn the matter till his return from overseas.

"... because of the distorted campaign unleashed by vested interests, he is prepared to reschedule and cut short his overseas engagements and shall come to India only to join the investigations at your convenience forthwith," the lawyer said in the letter.

The lawyer said the date and time be indicated to him so that Chandra can be accordingly intimated and "he shall be present before you within 96 hours of service of notice".

Investigators have told a local court earlier that they were treating him as an accused as he knew about the dealings between his employees and Congress MP Naveen Jindal's company.

Zee Group has denied the allegations and demanded the immediate release of its two senior journalists, alleging that the police action was "illegal" and "designed for something else".


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