DELHI: A Delhi Court has said that steel magnate Naveen Jindals
alleged call to News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA)
chairman Justice J S Verma does not amount to an offence of
criminal misconduct within the meaning of Section 13 (1) (d)
of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In the case filed by Zee News Ltd seeking intervention of
the Central Bureau of Investigation against Jindal for invoking
Justice Verma, Special CBI Judge Dharmesh Sharma said: At
this stage, assuming for the sake of convenience that such
act was indeed committed by accused no. 1 (Jindal), it could
only be said to be in the realm of moral turpitude or unethical
conduct that by no stretch of legal latitude could be said
to constitute an offence of criminal misconduct within the
meaning of Section 13 (1) (d) of the P. C. Act.
assuming for the sake of convenience the fact attributed to
the accused (Jindal) could only be perceived as having been
done by him in his capacity as a CEO of a private company
to show his might upon a non-governmental organization (NBSA)
that cannot constitute an offence within the meaning of Section
13 (1) (d) of the P. C. Act.
Zee News counsel Vijay Aggarwal, however, said he would pursue
the matter in the Delhi High Court: The court has expressed
doubts whether calling NBSA, in view of it being a private
body, is unethical, criminal or not. Also, in view of the
investigation being ordered, it may bring disrepute to NBSA
and might affect pendency of civil suit defamation before
the High Court of Mumbai.
14 January, the court had taken consideration in the complaint
made by Zee News before CBI against Jindal. The case was filed
after the CBI did not take action on a complaint made against
Jindal after his reported call to Justice Verma before he
could make a pronouncement based on Jindals complaint
against Zee News. While dismissing Jindals case, Justice
Verma had taken umbrage to the complainants conduct.
Zee News Editors Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia have
alleged that they have been falsely implicated in a case relating
to a series of exposes in the Coalgate scam involving Congress
MP and industrialist Jindal. The two Zee editors wanted to
expose Jindals template of silencing media coverage
of Coalgate through a Rs One billion advertisement contract.