Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra and his son Punit Goenka, managing director of the company, on Saturday presented themselves for questioning before the Delhi Police Crime Branch, which is probing the alleged attempt to extort Rs.100 crore from Jindal Steel and Power Limited in the form of commercials to purportedly dilute the campaign against the company in connection with the coal block allocation scam.
Sudhir Chaudhary, editor of Zee News, and Samir Ahluwalia, editor of Zee Business, who were arrested on November 27, were remanded back in police custody for two more days by a court here on Saturday to enable the investigators to confront them with Mr. Chandra and his son. While the interrogation continued till late in the evening, police sources said they were likely to be confronted with the two editors on Saturday night itself.
Accompanied by his lawyers, Mr. Chandra reached the Chanakyapuri office of the Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch around 2 p.m. and half-an-hour later his son Punit Goenka arrived. Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) S.B.K. Singh and Deputy Commissioner of Police S.B.S. Tyagi, besides their subordinates, quizzed them to record their version of the sequence of events and to ascertain discrepancies, if any, vis-a-vis the evidence collected so far.
The police, who have stated in court that the media house and not the two arrested editors was the intended beneficiary of the advertising contract it wanted JSPL to sign, are keen to know whether Mr. Chandra and his son were aware of the alleged extortion bid.
For their part, the Zee chairman and his son denied knowledge stating that they were not involved in the editorial operations of the two channels in question.
However, it is learnt that the police have gathered phone call records of those purportedly involved and also have with them the video clip provided by JSPL.