The Delhi Police’s plea to subject Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business editor Samir Ahluwalia to a polygraph test was dismissed by a court on Thursday after they refused their consent to the procedure in a case of alleged extortion.
The police sought the test, arguing that even after the editors and Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra were confronted with one another, the accused concealed facts relating to their alleged attempt to extort Rs.100 crore from Jindal Steel and Power Limited, in the form of advertisements, for diluting the two news channels’ campaign against the firm in the coal block allocations scam.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Rao said the editors could not be forced or compelled to undergo the test as it violated the “right against self-incrimination” guideline laid down by the Supreme Court and Article 20(3) of the Constitution (protection in respect of conviction for offenses). The editors refused to undergo the test, claiming that the probe was being influenced by JSPL officials.
As for Mr. Chandra, the court said he agreed to undergo the test and was apprised of the procedure through a report submitted by an officer of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory.
The court allowed the police to collect the voice samples of the editors.