Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra, who on Sunday presented himself before the police for a second round of questioning in connection with the alleged Rs. 100-crore extortion bid from the Naveen Jindal-owned Jindal Steel Private Limited (JSPL), denied having had any knowledge about the conduct of his employees.
He said he would file a defamation suit against the Congress MP.
Police said Chandra and his son Puneet Goenka arrived at the crime branch’s Chanakyapuri office around 1:30 pm on Sunday afternoon. Goenka was allowed to leave in half an hour, but Chandra was being questioned till late evening.
“Chandra was confronted with arrested Zee editors Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia and cross-questioned about the possibility of having been in the know of the entire episode in their presence,” said an officer.
Chandra has secured interim bail from a city court till December 14.
His questioning, the police said, centred around allegations that his channel being offered to dilute reportage on the coal blocks allocation scam in return for an advertisement contract valued at R100 crore from Jindal Steel.
“Chandra was questioned about his conversation with Ahluwalia about the meeting with Jindal's company. Records show Ahluwalia had called him over the phone prior to the episode and had talked to him for about 280 seconds,” the officer said.
The crime branch team consisted of joint CP SBK Singh, DCP SBS Tyagi and ACP Rajender Bakshi.
A statement issued by the Zee Group claimed that Chandra and Goenka had extended ‘full cooperation to the Delhi Police so that truth comes out’.
“I will file a suit of defamation against Jindal,” Chandra told reporters later.
“Neither am I unaware of the ‘agreement’ between his firm and Zee Group nor was I in the know of the criminal case. The case was filed on October 2, but I got to know about it only on the seventh,” Chandra said.
Chandra claimed he was contacted by Jindal several times after the alleged ‘sting operation’ was conducted. “I don't know how our editors got embroiled but it was Jindal who had offered us a package of R25 crore in return for ‘favours’. We have been silent on the issue, but from tomorrow we will make sure that our side of the story is also heard,” he said.