Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia, the editors of Zee News and Zee Business respectively, were arrested here on charges of extortion on Tuesday.
“Both Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were called for interrogation to the Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch in Chanakyapuri. Following their interrogation, which lasted for several hours, they were arrested,” said a senior police official, adding that there was substantial evidence against the two.
The arrests were made more than a month after Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. (JSPL) filed a complaint with the police alleging that Rs. 100 crore was demanded in the form of advertisements to dilute the campaign launched by the news channel against the business group in connection with the alleged coal block allocation scam.
Later, JSPL chairman Naveen Jindal released video recordings allegedly showing the Zee editors trying to extort Rs. 100 crore in return for the channel not airing damaging stories on coal block allocations involving JSPL.
The 14-minute video footage showed the editors bargaining with the JSPL executives. While releasing the CD, Mr. Jindal had claimed that this was the first time an Indian corporate was exposing media malpractice.
The channel had refuted Mr. Jindal’s claims and described the episode as “...a deliberate attempt to malign the trustworthy television network.”
The CD carrying the footage was later sent for forensic examination which established it as genuine.