Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra and his son, Punit Goenka, were granted interim protection from arrest till December 14 by a Sessions court here on Thursday. The court asked them to cooperate with the Delhi Police Crime Branch in its probe into allegations that Rs.100 crore was demanded from Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. in the form of advertisements to purportedly dilute the campaign launched by Zee News and Zee Business against JSPL in connection with the coal block allocation scam.

The court directed the Delhi Police, which have called Mr. Chandra and Mr. Goenka to join the probe on December 8, to file a fresh status report on December 14.

During arguments on the anticipatory bail application moved by the father-son duo, the police steadfastly refrained from making a commitment on whether custodial interrogation was necessary or not.

Additional Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said the investigating officer in the case would be in a position to take a stand on this issue only after questioning of the two men on December 8 and the entire prerogative for arrest rested with the IO.