HC asks BEA to respond to Zee editor's plea
The Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA) and its members on Friday were asked by the Delhi high court to respond to a plea to declare as "void" an enquiry against Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary on his alleged bid to extort Rs. 100 crore from a firm of Congress MP Naveen Jindal.
"The counsel accepts notice on behalf of all respondents (BEA and three scribe members of the panel). The replies be filed within a week...," Justice ML Mehta said.
The court, which fixed the matter for hearing on February 26, asked the Zee editor to file rejoinder in two weeks after the filing of replies on behalf of the broadcast editors' body and senior journalists - NK Singh, Dibang and Rahul Kanwal.
The journalists were part of the three-member fact finding committee constituted by BEA to look into the issues of professional ethics arising out of the allegations levelled by Jindal Steel and Power Limited against Chaudhary who was then the BEA treasurer.
On its three-mamber panel's report, BEA had removed Chaudhary from its membership.
The Zee editor has moved the court challenging the enquiry, its findings and the subsequent actions.
Chaudhary, in his plea, has also sought removal of a press release issued by the BEA from public domain.
The high court earlier on November 20 last year had issued notices to the BEA and others on Chaudhary's plea.
Zee Business editor Samir Ahluwalia and Chaudhary were later arrested on November 27, 2012 on a complaint by Jindal's firm that they had demanded Rs. 100 crore as an advertising deal for not airing negative news against the firm in connection with the coal block allocation scandal. They are now out on bail in the extortion bid case.