Bail denied, Zee News editors to face 'sustained interrogation', Subhash Chandra in line of fire

Naveen Jindal

She further said that the FIR is a "counter blast" to put media on back foot so that no programme could be aired against Jindal Group for their alleged involvement in allocation of coal blocks.

John also claimed that the police is acting as a tool for the state by arresting the two mediapersons.

"Whatever happened between the two groups was with the knowledge of both the sides," she said.

"Our side was trying to see how far they would go and they wanted to cover their backs," she said.

She also asked the court as to how section 383 of the IPC was applicable on the accused as the provision would come into force when the money is exchanged between the parties whereas in this case, no money has changed hands.

She argued that since both the accused have cooperated with the investigation, their custodial interrogation was not required.

During the hearing, both the accused moved bail pleas arguing that since no money was exchanged between the parties, it was at best a case of putting a person in fear of injury in order to extort money, making it a bailable offence.

"When the FIR was lodged, the charge of cheating was not invoked and it was added later on at the behest of powerful people," she said.

The arrests on charges of extortion came following the registration of a case about 45 days ago on a complaint filed by Jindal's company with the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.

Jindal had last month released a CD purportedly showing footage of the Zee journalists trying to strike a deal with his company officials, telling them the channel will not air negative stories of Jindal Group if the money is paid to them.

Chaudhary had rubbished the allegations as "fabrication" and described them as "pressure tactics" to prevent the channel from doing such stories.

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