Zee editor sues Jindal, 16 others for defamation

Zee News editor Sudhir Choudhary on Friday filed a criminal complaint against Jindal Steel owner Navin Jindal and 16 staff members of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) for "deliberately and grossly defaming the complainant on wholly and competently false, unjustifiable and scandalous grounds".

Choudhary accused Jindal officials of making "false" and "defamatory" statements against him in the October 2 police complaint as well as at a press conference held on October 25.

In a letter written to JSPL shareholders on November 19, Choudhary further alleges, they made false allegations regarding the circumstances of the termination of his Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA) membership.

Choudhary has said he did not appear before the BEA ethics committee for any proceedings and had been removed without an opportunity to present his defence.

The magistrate has fixed January 3 for further proceedings and to take cognisance of Choudhary's complaint.

In a separate development on Friday, Choudhary and another Zee editor held with him, Samir Ahluwalia, who are facing allegations of attempting to extort money from JSPL, have alleged that the Delhi Police had tried to "force" them "to read the same incriminating line from the transcript" of the CD allegedly recorded by JSPL officials during the course of their meetings with the two editors.

"The prevalent laws of the country... are clear that the accused need not read the same lines, he/she can speak out anything that he/she desires," said the Zee editors.

In a statement, the Zee group has alleged that this was "one more confirmation of the one-sided probe being attempted by the Delhi Police and premeditated harassment meted out to Zee Group".

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