Zee Group chairman seeks time to join police probe

New Delhi, Nov 29: Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra has sought more time from Delhi Police to join probe into allegations that two senior journalists of his news channels tried to extort Rs.100 crore from industrialist and Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s company, police said.

Police had served notice on Chandra Wednesday, asking him to join probe after the arrest of Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business editor Samir Ahluwalia following complaint by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. (JSPL) claiming that money was sought to block airing a negative story over coal block allocation.

Chandra replied seeking more time, saying that he is abroad till Dec 5. Police had also told a local court Wednesday that they were treating Chandra as an accused as he knew about the dealings between his employees and Jindal’s company.

Asked whether investigators would approach court seeking issuance of a warrant, a senior police officer said they will take such a decision if there is a need.

“At the moment, it does not seem so,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Railways) S.B.S. Tyagi.

Another official added that notice was served to Chandra after an analysis of call data records allegedly showed that Chaudhary and Ahluwalia had spoken to Chandra immediately after their first meeting with JSPL representatives at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

“We want to probe Chandra’s alleged role in the case and to unearth the entire conspiracy as it is suspected that he was aware of the meetings. We want to ascertain if he knew about the alleged extortion bid,” the officer added.

IANS