may be recalled that Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) has also
filed a police case against Zee News.
Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA) on Thursday suspended its treasurer
and editor of Zee News Sudhir Chaudhary, who features in the Jindal
video tapes, following a complaint by Jindal, who is also a Congress
member of parliament.
a press conference on Thursday, Jindal showed a video recording
of meetings with Zee TV executives and claimed this to be proof
that they were trying to extort money from him. Jindal said the
TV channel told his company's executives that if they did not spend
Rs one billion on advertising on the channel, it would run stories
about how Jindal's firm was allocated coal fields.
said the "extortion attempt" was caught on a hidden camera
and he released CDs of this footage to reporters. The 'reverse sting'
was carried out between 13 and 19 September over four meetings in
different locations in Delhi.
Zee News said that "it has always been the forerunner in exposing
Naveen Jindal's double standard as a politician and an industrialist
in Coalgate scam. Zee News clearly understands that it is to suppress
the coverage that Zee News was telecasting on Coalgate, that the
corporate communications team from Jindal Steel and Power Limited
first tried to bribe Samir Ahluwalia with Rs 250 million, which
he declined straightway, and later was offered a Rs one billion
advertising deal to stop the coverage of Coalgate scam."
has also alleged that attempts by "right thinking media houses
including Zee News to bring out the truth in the Rs1,860 billion
Coalgate scam are being muzzled by Mr. Naveen Jindal by distorting
the truth and defaming those on the righteous path." It also
cited the Comptroller and Auditor General report that has named
JSPL as one of the beneficiaries of the allocation that was done
News has always been in pursuit of seeking the truth in the Coalgate
scam, and has had several interactions with Jindal and his officials.
We accuse Jindal and JSPL of maligning the name of Zee News since
they chose to display an edited/doctored CD where only selected
portions were shown. Jindal has a history of unfairly targeting
those who dare to confront him with the truth," the statement
The statement added: "We are of the view that similar false
allegations have been made by Naveen Jindal and his officials against
Zee News in a police complaint and we see it as subversion of the
due process of law. Clearly, we see this as an attempt to prejudice
and defame us and to overreach the investigation in this regard
and have hence sent a defamation notice to JSPL and Naveen Jindal."
The statement goes on to assert that Zee News is undeterred by such
diversionary tactics adopted by Jindal and JSPL and would stay focused
on unraveling the ultimate truth in the Coalgate scam and have only
taken this route to counter the allegations made.