Ready to join investigations: Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra

Subhash Chandra

Seeking bail for the two editors, the counsel said they have been booked for offences, which carry a maximum jail term of one and a half year.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who appeared for Jindal group, told the court that the Zee Group editors had charged Rs 25 crore per annum from the Jindal firm for advertisement, where as officially they take Rs 2.5 Crore per year for the same.

"Was it not a case of extortion?" Gupta told the court.

He told the court that Zee head Subhash Chandra is also involved in the whole episode, to which Zee group's lawyer raised objections saying, "How is it possible that Jindal's counsel has access to the police documents, which are highly confidential?"

She said, "It means that the Jindal's representative are also sitting in the investigation with the police.

Jindal has alleged that Zee News had tried to extort Rs 100 crore in exchange for not airing stories linking his group firms to the coal block allocation scam.

Jindal had released a video-recording of meetings with executives of Zee TV and claimed it to be the proof that they were trying to extort money from him.

Jindal said the news channel told his firm's executives that if they did not spend Rs 100 crore on advertising, the channel would run negative stories on allocation of coal fields to his firm.

Both the journalists have been booked under section 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC.

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.

In a retaliatory move, Zee News had last month sent a Rs 150 crore defamation notice to the Congress MP, who too had filed a Rs 200 crore case against the media conglomerate claiming the TV channel had tried to extort money from his company.

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