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Zee News editors granted bail

Court order vindicates stand taken by Zee News Ltd that wrong sections of CrPC and IPC were used to detain the two editors

Zee News editors granted bail

Court order vindicates stand taken by Zee News Ltd that wrong sections of CrPC and IPC were used to detain the two editors

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 18, 2012

The two Zee News Ltd editors, Sudhir Chaudhary (Zee News) and Samir Ahluwalia (Zee Business), were granted bail yesterday in connection with the case relating to a series of exposes in the ‘Coalgate’ scam involving Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal. Both editors had exposed Jindal’s efforts to silence the media’s coverage of Coalgate through the Rs 100-crore advertisement contract, Zee News has said in a statement.

The pronouncement by the court came after the counsel for the Zee editors said during the proceedings that “the FIR in the present case has been registered on the basis of an absolutely false and frivolous complaint filed at the behest of M/s Jindal Steel and Power. That, according to them, a defamatory material was telecast on Zee News channel against the complainant and when the officials of the complainant company approached and the met the editors, money was allegedly demanded in return to stop the telecast against the complainant in the garb of advertisement contract”.

Vijay Aggarwal, Zee News Ltd’s Counsel, also submitted before the court that to prove their bona fide and innocence, his client(s) had consented to give a voice sample. He claimed that the case and the allegations are totally false and fabricated. “The FIR and subsequent arrests are nothing but a malicious exercise undertaken by the complainant in order to prevent the news channel from raising a legitimate and important news story of public interest involving a public figure. That no demand was ever made to the representative of the Jindal Group by his client(s) as alleged in the FIR. That the co-accused, Punit Goenka, has been granted interim anticipatory bail by the court on December 6, 2012, and the present case is a glaring example of misuse of the legal system by complainant company. That his client(s) is/are available for interrogation by the IO as he/they have roots in the society, hence, there are negligible chances of them fleeing from the law. That during the course of investigation, he had joined the investigation on many occasions whenever his presence was requisitioned. That he undertakes to cooperate with the investigation agencies and appear as and when called for. That there is no likelihood of his tampering with the evidence or influencing the witnesses. That his client(s) is/are not a previous convict and has clean antecedents in society. That his countinuous detention would cause serious damage to his reputation and cause severe damage to him socially and financially. Hence, the present application,” he said.

“That my client(s) have been granted bail shows that the judiciary has been able to see through the wrong sections of CrPC which were wrongly put in the case and our stand has been vindicated, The court also used the Gurcharan Singh Vs State (Delhi Administration) 1979 SCC Crl. 43 to pronounce the case,” Aggarwal said.

“The Delhi District Court of Smt Rajrani Mitra has announced that two Zee News Editors to be released on bail on furnishing bail bonds of Rs 50,000 each and told them to cooperate in the investigations. We had argued before the court that my clients have been arrested in violation of the principles of CrPC. They have been arrested by invoking wrong sections of IPC, so our stand has been vindicated and now the court has passed the bail order in favour of our client.  The Sessions Court has directed their immediate release on furnishing the bail bonds,” Aggarwal added.

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