The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from Congress MP Naveen Jindal and the Centre hearing a plea by Zee group in which the group sought quashing of the alleged extortion case against it and its editors.
The Apex Court also sought Delhi Police’s response on the allegation that it lodged the FIRs and launched criminal proceedings against the Zee editors allegedly at the behest of Jindal.
The notice was also issued to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) of which Naveen Jindal is the Chairman.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir asked them to file their response within two weeks and posted the matter after four weeks on Zee’e petition also seeking stay of the criminal proceedings against them.
The bench, also comprising justices AR Dave and Vikramajit Sen, issued notice to them on another petition filed by the Zee Group questioning the showcause notice issued to it by the Centre for telecasting a programme in which the channel revealed the identity of the male friend and eye witness of the December 16 gangrape case.
The Centre in its notice has sought explanation from the Zee Group why its licence should not be cancelled.
Senior advocates Harish Salve and Maninder Singh, appearing for the Zee group and its editors — Sudhir Chaudhary and Sameer Ahulwalia, alleged that the three FIRs registered on October 2, 2012, January 4, 2013 and January 15 were as a result of “unholy conspiracy” between Jindal and the Delhi Police.
They also sought that the case be transferred from Delhi Police to some other agency.
The first FIR was in connection with the sting operation on the alleged extortion bid by Zee editors against Jindal’s company in which Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were in jail from November 27 to December 17, 2012.
(With inputs from agencies)