A Delhi court on Monday dismissed the second bail plea of two senior Zee editors arrested for allegedly trying to extort Rs. 100 crore from Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s group in exchange for not running reports on the coal block allocation scam.
Rejecting the bail plea, Metropolitan Magistrate Rajinder Singh said, “The investigation is at a preliminary stage and there is no change in facts and circumstances since November 28 (when their first bail plea was rejected). No fresh grounds have come up.”
The arrested duo — Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business editor Samir Ahluwalia — were earlier remanded in judicial custody and sent to Tihar jail till December 14.
Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan questioned the ‘maintainability’ of the bail plea. He contended that the duo had exercised their right under Section 437 IPC and their first bail plea was dismissed and so their second bail application was not maintainable.
Describing the continued incarceration of the duo as unjustified, the Zee editors’ advocate Rebecca John said: “We’re dealing with two senior members of the press fraternity. Who have been thrown in jail, in what is a corporate war.”
Noting that a fresh bail application was filed on behalf of the duo on Friday after their first bail plea was rejected on Wednesday, MM Singh said: “The dismissal of the bail application of the accused does preclude them from moving successive bail applications.”
The Delhi Police crime branch had informed the court on Friday that the duo’s custodial interrogation was complete and they were no longer required.