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Editors Guild urges CBI to follow process of law, NDTV confirms loan repayment

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MUMBAI: The Editors Guild of India, in a press release issued on Monday night, expressed deep concern over the raids conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the offices of NDTV and its promoters today. Entry of police and other agencies into the media offices is a serious matter, it added.

NDTV, in various statements, has denied any wrongdoing and termed the raids as "stepping up the concerted harassment" of the news channel and an attempt to "undermine democracy and free speech" and "silence the media," the release stated. While the Editors Guild maintains that no individual or institution is above the law, the Guild condemns any attempt to muzzle the media and calls upon the CBI to follow the due process of law and ensure there is no interference in the free functioning of news operations, the Guild release signed by office-bearers Raj Chengappa, Prakash Dube and Kalyani Shankar stated.

Updated NDTV statement: It is shocking that the CBI conducted searches on the NDTV offices and residence of the promoters without even conducting a preliminary enquiry. The CBI has been compelled to file an FIR based on a shoddy complaint by a disgruntled former consultant at NDTV named as Sanjay Dutt, who has been making false allegations. So far, he has not obtained a single order from any of these courts.

Legal analysts are astounded that where courts have rejected giving any order in all these years, the CBI conducts raids based on what is a private complaint. The allegation appears to be for a loan which has been repaid by Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy more than seven years ago.

Even though crores of rupees of dues have not been paid by several industrialists and no criminal case has yet been registered against any of them by the CBI, the CBI has chosen not only to register an FIR, but also conduct a search for a loan which has been duly repaid to ICICI Bank. The allegation that no disclosure was made to SEBI and other regulatory authorities is not only incorrect but also does not clothe the CBI with any power to register cases and search which further amplifies the fact that the search by the CBI is only a witch-hunt against independent media.

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