A Delhi court today reserved its
order on two Zee editors' plea to direct police "not to force"
them to read extracts from the transcript of a video clip of a
sting, done by Jindal firm's officials, while taking their
voice sample in the alleged Rs 100 crore extortion bid case.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mukesh Kumar reserved the order on pleas by Zee News Editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business Editor Samir Ahluwalia for January 4.
The editors in their plea said the video which is the subject matter of probe is in possession of the police and they cannot ask them to read out its transcript.
"Except this, we can read out anything else," they told the court.
Opposing their plea, special public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said the two editors were summoned yesterday by the Crime Branch to record their voice sample, but they refused to do so.
Mohan told the court that the two refused to give their voice sample on their counsel's advice.
Vijay Aggarwal appearing for the editors said, "The Delhi Police tried to force the two Zee Editors, Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia, for a voice sample test and asked them to read the same incriminating lines from the transcript."
He said he has doubts that by recording the same line as shown in the video, the agency in future may use this as an incriminating evidence against his clients.
"How can we give evidence against ourselves," he said.
Aggarwal said, "Bring any other book, we will read it. To record voice I may be asked to read any other subject or line."
The editors on December 12 while refusing to undergo lie detector test had agreed to undergo the voice sample test.
Public prosecutor Mohan said they were trying to take the
voice sample related to the same incident as it would be easy
to establish their alleged involvement in the crime.
"Unless we take the sample, it would be difficult for us to investigate into the matter. We only asked them to read the text, which is in our possession," Mohan said.
Mohan contended that voice sample should be recorded in the same pitch and mode to enable us to interpret.
Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were arrested on November 27 on a complaint by Jindal's firm that they had demanded Rs 100 crore as an advertising deal for not airing negative news against the firm in connection with the coal block allocation scandal.
Both Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were later on granted bail on December 17 by the court.
They have been booked under section 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC.