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Questioning of Zee chairman continues for day 2

Updated: December 9, 2012, 4:07 PM IST
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Questioning of Zee chairman continues for day 2
Sources said the two arrested Zee editors would also be questioned again on Sunday.

Mumbai: The questioning of Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra in connection with the Naveen Jindal extortion case resumed on Sunday. Chandra and his son - Zee Group MD Puneet Goenka - were questioned for over nine hours by Delhi Police on Saturday. They were also confronted with two arrested editors of Zee - Sudhir Chaudhury and Samir Ahluwalia.

Sources said the editors would be questioned again on Sunday. However, decision of further quizzing Chandra is yet to be taken.

Chandra had on Saturday arrived at the Crime Branch office in Chanakyapuri at 2 pm while son Puneet reached there at 2:30 pm along with their lawyers. The questioning went on till 11:30 pm. Chaudhury and Ahluwalia, who had been remanded to two days police custody by a court on Saturday, were brought to the crime branch office where Chandra and his son were being questioned.

Chandra had secured an interim protection from arrest till December 14 from a Delhi court. In a late Saturday statement, Zee Group said both Chandra and Puneet extended fullest cooperation to Delhi Police so that truth emerges. "We expect justice and a fair inquiry. The fullest cooperation ended attempted misimpressions that Chandra and Goenka were avoiding joining the investigations," it said.

"Now that Chandra and Goenka have joined the investigations, police have no ground to oppose the bail of the two editors," Zee News Ltd's counsel Vijay Aggarwal said. During questioning, sources said Chandra and Puneet denied the allegations and claimed it was an attempt to scuttle news reports on coalgate scam.

Sources said Chandra was asked whether Alhuwalia had telephoned him and informed him about the discussions with Jindal's company. Police had claimed to have phone call records to show that Alhluwalia spoken to Chandra for nearly three minutes
explaining about the discussions. Chandra's questioning came after police sent three notices to him asking him to join the investigations in the case in which Chaudhury and Ahluwalia were arrested late November month following investigations into a complaint filed on October 2.

Chandra had earlier told the police that he could not appear before them as he was out of the country but later on December 3 he told them he will be ready to appear within 96 hours of notice. Police then asked him to appear before them on Saturday.

Investigators have told a local court earlier that they were treating Chandra as an accused as he knew about the dealings between his employees and Jindal's company. Zee Group has denied the allegations of extortion and demanded the immediate release of its two senior journalists, alleging the police action was "illegal" and "designed for something else".

(With additional information from PTI)

First Published: December 9, 2012, 4:07 PM IST
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