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Zee journalists refuse lie-detector test

Posted on Dec 13, 05:27AM | IANS

Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra Wednesday told a Delhi court he was ready to undergo a lie-detector test while two journalists of his channel arrested for an alleged Rs.100-crore extortion bid refused to do so.

Sudhir Chaudhary, head of Zee News, and Samir Ahluwalia, head of Zee Business, both in judicial custody, were accused of demanding Rs.100 crore from the Jindal Group in the form of advertisements to the channel.

The journalists told Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Rao that they were opposed to the lie-detector test but open to giving samples for voice tests.

Chandra agreed to undergo the lie detector test subject to the procedure and techniques used by the investigating agency.

He said he was undergoing some treatment and before taking the lie detector test, he would need to consult his doctors abroad.

The court issued a warrant for the presence of the two accused journalists before it Thursday and also asked advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Chandra, to ensure his client attended the proceedings the same day.

"To secure presence of the accused persons before the disposal of their applications under consideration. Accordingly, issue production warrant for both accused (Sudhir and Samir) on Dec 13," the court said.

"As far as Chandra is concerned, his counsel Vijay Aggarwal has informed this court that he is ready to undergo lie detector test subject to the techniques used by the investigative agency for the test. Nonetheless, I deem it fit to secure his (Chandra) presence on Dec 13," the metropolitan magistrate said.

The journalists were arrested here Nov 27 on charges of attempting to extort Rs.100 crore from Congress MP Naveen Jindal's company Jindal Power and Steel Ltd. (JPSL) in exchange for not filing news reports linking the firm to the irregular coal blocks allocation.

Police booked both the journalists under Sections 384 (extortion), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Before arresting Chaudhary and Ahluwalia, police also charged them under Section 420 (cheating).