HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Two Zee News scribes held in extortion case

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi , November 27, 2012
First Published: 21:50 IST(27/11/2012) | Last Updated: 02:56 IST(28/11/2012)

Two senior journalists of Zee news, facing charges of extortion, were arrested by the crime branch of Delhi Police on Tuesday night.

A representative of Jindal Steel Private Limited (JSPL), a company owned by Congress MP Naveen Jindal, had filed an FIR against them on October 2.

"We picked them up at 8:30 pm and they will be produced in court on Wednesday. We need their custody to cross-examine them with the evidence that we had against them," said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.

Those arrested are Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia and after questioning them, we will try to investigate the role of others who were named in the FIR, the officer said. The Inter State Cell (ISC) of crime branch was handling the investigation.

In a press conference last month, Jindal had given the video footage of a meeting he had with Chaudhary and other representatives of Zee news. The video traces meetings held on September 10, 17 and 19.

Jindal had alleged that Zee News journalists told the officers of his company, Jindal Steel, that if they did not give advertisements worth Rs. 100 crore to the channel, they would air stories on his (Jindal's) alleged involvement in the coal scam and how his company was allocated coal fields.

Zee News on the other hand, had earlier claimed that, "To suppress the coverage that Zee News was telecasting on coal scam, Corporate Communications team from JSPL first tried to bribe Samir Ahluwalia with Rs. 25 crore, which he declined straightway. This was an offer from JSPL to stop the coverage of Coalgate scam. Undeterred the JSPL team offered Zee News and Zee Business and advertising deal of Rs. 100 crore, to stop the coverage."

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