Zee News sends Rs.150 crore defamation notice to industrialist-politician Naveen Jindal
Zee News on Saturday sent a defamation notice of Rs 150 crore to Naveen Jindal, accusing his press conference on a sting operation conducted by his company, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, on the TV channel, as an attempt to divert attention from demand for independent probe in the coal blocks allocations controversy.
Naveen Jindal had filed an extortion case against Zee News, accusing the channel of demanding bribe from him for not airing its story on the coalgate scam, in which Jindal''''s company had been named.
Zee News said that it is undeterred by such diversionary tactics adopted by Jindal and JSPL and would stay focused on unraveling the ultimate truth in the Rs 1.86 lakh crore coalgate scam. It said that it had only taken the sting operation route to counter the allegations made.
The channel, in a statement, condemned and completely rejected the doctored evidence produced by Jindal, accusing the industrialist of making a deliberate attempt to malign one of India's most trustworthy television networks. Zee News said that Naveen Jindal would be given three days to withdraw all his unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations against channel, failing which, he would face civil and criminal actions initiated by Zee News.
The channel claimed that it has always been the forerunner in exposing Jindal''''s double standards as a politician and industrialist in Coalgate scam.
It said that it clearly understood that Jindal was making all attempts to suppress the coverage that Zee News was telecasting on Coalgate. It said that the corporate communications team from JSPL had first tried to bribe Samir Ahluwalia with Rs.25 crore, which he declined straightway, and later was offered a Rs.100 crore advertising deal to stop the coverage of Coalgate scam.
Claiming that it had several interactions with Jindal and his officials, Zee News said it is determined to bring out the truth in the Coalgate scam. It said Jindal has a history of unfairly targeting those who dare to confront him with the truth. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) was quick to issue a statement in response to Zee News'''' notice. It said: "JSPL has filed a defamation suit last Thursday itself, for Rs.200 crore against the four persons of Zee at Mumbai High Court, notices for which have already been issued to Subhash Chandra, Puneet Goenka, Sudhir Chaudhary and Sameer Ahluwalia of Zee News and Zee Business.
The case is likely to come for hearing next week at Mumbai High Court."