The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) was on Saturday planning to question over 70 journalists for allegedly taking money from a sub-registrar who has been arrested for taking bribes. The money was apparently meant to prevent them from writing against the official, sources said.
"We would be asking those journalists who regularly took money from sub-registrar of north Delhi, Rajender Singh Madan, who has already been arrested," said a highly placed source in the ACB.
The matter came to light when the ACB caught Madan red-handed as he was demanding a bribe for preparing a sale deed and other documents. The ACB sleuths recorded his conversation in which he asked the complainant to hand over the bribe money to one of his accomplices named Yashpal.
During its investigations the anti-corruption agency found that Madan allegedly used to pay between Rs 1,000 to Rs 6,000 per month to around 70 journalists for not writing against him.
"When we conducted raids at Madan’s office and residence, we found names and visiting cards of over 70 journalists who were on his payroll. Madan had made a list of these journalists and the money they were supposed to receive,“ the source added.
According to the officials, these journalists were from various newspapers, channels and magazines.
“We are not revealing their names yet but the process of interrogations have begun,” said the official adding that those who found guilty would also be booked under appropriate sections of law.