Zee chief can consult docs before lie detector test

A Delhi court on Thursday allowed Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra's plea to take a lie detector test only after consulting his doctors and in the presence of his lawyer in connection with a case of an alleged extortion bid.

"I voluntarily give my consent for a lie detector test to establish my innocence. However, I am 62 years old and I am suffering from old age ailments," Chandra told the court of metropolitan magistrate Gaurav Rao. "I need to consult my doctors in the US, London before undergoing the test in question. I may also be informed of the exact nature of the test."

While accepting Chandra's plea, the court rejected the police plea to subject two arrested Zee editors, Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia, to the lie detector test after they refused to give their consent.

Chaudhary and Ahluwalia, currently in judicial custody, were arrested on November 27 for an alleged attempt to extort an advertisement contract worth Rs 100 crore from Congress MP Naveen Jindal's company Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.

Citing rulings which state that an accused cannot be forced or compelled to take a lie detector test, the court said that "in terms of the statement made by accused Samir Ahluwalia and Sudhir Chaudhary wherein they have not consented to undergo the lie detector test... the application of the IO (investigating officer) is dismissed".

The court allowed the police plea to take voice samples of Chaudhary and Ahluwalia after they consented "voluntarily, of their own free will, and after due consultation with the counsels representing them".

In the evening, family members of Chaudhary and Ahluwalia demanded their immediate release and accused Naveen Jindal of "misusing" his political and financial clout in the case.

"Both the journalists should be immediately released. Things should not have deteriorated to such an extent. They have been arrested without reason and this is an injustice done to them," said Roasie Ahluwalia, wife of Samir Ahluwalia. She and Niti Chaudhary, wife of Sudhir Chaudhary, led a candle light march.

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