A Delhi court on Monday issued notice to Zee editors Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia, arrested for an alleged extortion bid on a complaint by Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s company Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), seeking their replies after the police crime branch moved two applications to make them take lie detector tests. Police also want to obtain voice samples “for comparison with voice recorded by audio/video devices by the officials of JSPL during sting operation”.
The crime branch also sought the consent of Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra for a lie detector test, alleging that the two arrested editors were “concealing some crucial facts” despite being confronted with the statements made by Chandra and his son Punit Goenka.
The court asked the defence to reply to the application on Wednesday after advocates said they needed time to read the applications and formulate a written response.
Chaudhary and Ahluwalia, arrested for making an alleged bid to extort an advertisements contract worth Rs 100 crore from the JSPL, were remanded to judicial custody until December 22.
Meanwhile, Vijay Aggarwal, advocate for Zee News Ltd, has filed an application on behalf of Subhash Chandra, asking the court to “monitor the investigation” which he alleged was not being done properly and was “one-sided”.
The application also alleged that the crime branch was ignoring “glaring discrepancies” in the statements made by the Jindal group before the Bombay High Court and in the FIR lodged in Delhi.
The application sought the examination of Naveen Jindal, his uncle Sitaram Jindal and brother Prithvi Jindal by the crime branch and alleged that they had approached Chandra in September after the telecast of a Zee report on the coal scandal. The applicant asked the court to pass orders “directing the Investigation Officer in the matter to expedite the investigation... taking into consideration all the documents/representation filed by the applicant.”