The alleged extortion row between Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s company and senior officials from Zee News seems to be escalating with the business group filing an FIR with the Delhi Crime Branch seeking action against the channels officials.
A recent newspaper report states that the Delhi Police Crime Branch has registered an FIR (criminal conspiracy, extortion, and defamation) filed by the Jindal Group against Samir Ahluwalia and Sudhir Chaudhary of Zee News, Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra, its Managing Director Punit Goenka, and some others from Zee News.
The HR head of the Jindal Group in his complaint has alleged that Chaudhary and Ahluwalia tried to extort money (Rs 100 crores in form of advertisement commitment) from the company in lieu of not covering stories related to Jindal Steel and coal block allocation scam. The FIR states that Jindal Group officials met the Zee editors more than once at the Polo Lounge of Hotel Hyatt Regency in the capital.
The Jindal Group has also alleged that these extortion activities were carried out by these senior editors with the full knowledge of Zee Chairman Subhash Chandra.
Meanwhile, the Delhi-based Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) has set-up a three-member fact-finding committee to look into the allegations pertaining to ethical lapses on the part of the Zee editors. Interestingly, Sudhir Chaudhary, one of the persons named in the FIR is the Treasurer of the BEA. The fact-finding committee consists of N K Singh (BEA General Secretary), Rahul Kanwal (Managing Editor of the Headlines Today) and Dibang (Member of BEA and veteran journalist).