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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Zee News head asked to join probe

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 28, 2012
First Published: 22:47 IST(28/11/2012) | Last Updated: 02:03 IST(29/11/2012)

After arresting two senior editors of Zee News Limited - Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia - on alleged charges of extortion, the Delhi Police have served notices to Subhash Chandra, chairman of the company, and to Puneet Goenka, managing director, asking them to join the investigation.

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A senior police officer said the notices were served to Chandra and Goenka to probe their alleged role in the case and to "unearth the entire conspiracy" because it is suspected that the alleged extortion bid could be part of a larger conspiracy.

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Both Chandra and Goenka were named along with Chaudhary and Ahluwalia and others in the FIR lodged by Rajiv Bhadoria, a representative of Jindal Steel Private Limited (JSPL) - a company owned by Congress MP Naveen Jindal.

Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were arrested on Tuesday night after a forensic examination proved as genuine an audio-video CD, containing a conversation between Chaudhary and Ahluwalia and Jindal Steel's representatives during their meeting held on different dates in September. 

On Wednesday, the inter state cell of Delhi Police's crime branch invoked section 420 (cheating) of IPC in the case. Investigators said the section was added after investigation revealed that a forged advertisement agreement was drafted by the suspects with an intention to cheat JSPL.

Asked on what grounds they suspect the role of Chandra in the conspiracy, the senior officer said that they had learnt about a 280-second-long telephonic conversation that took place between Chandra and Ahluwalia immediately after the meeting between the Zee journalists and representatives of Jindal Steel at a five-star hotel in Delhi on September 13.

"We suspect that Chandra was aware of the meetings the two senior editors of his company had with JSPL representatives. We want to ascertain if he knew about the alleged extortion bid. We will probe Goenka's role in the matter as the complainant named him too in the FIR," said the officer.

Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were remanded by a local court in police custody till Friday. Investigators had demanded three days custody.


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