Zee Business Editor Samir Ahluwalia, who along with his colleague Sudhir Chaudhary is accused in an extortion case, on Thursday filed in a Delhi court a criminal defamation complaint against Naveen Jindal, his firm Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and its 14 officials.
After taking the complaint on record, Metropolitan Magistrate Navita Kumari fixed January 9 for hearing it even as another court took cognisance of Chaudhary's defamation compliant and slated January 7 for recording of pre-summoning evidence on it.
Ahluwalia filed his complaint 13 days after Zee News Editor Sudhir Chaudhary made a similar plea to the court.
Ahluwalia and Chaudhary were arrested on November 27, 2012, 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. They are now out on bail.
The Zee Business editor, in his separate complaint filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal, had alleged the Congress MP had made "vexatious, false and fabricated" statements against him in a press conference with the intention to tarnish his image.
He said that Jindal, JSPL and several directors of firm, who had lodged an FIR against him and Chaudhary, made defamatory statements at a press conference here on December 25, 2012.
The press conference was held by Jindal and others after they lodge the FIR against the scribe, the complaint said.
Ahluwalia, in the complaint, alleged that a wrong statement was made in the press conference that I was a member of the Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA) which asked me to explain about the allegations of attempting to extort Rs 100 crore from Jindal and others.
In the conference, it was also wrongly said that I failed to convince the BEA which took action against me, the complaint said.
Chaudhary had earlier filed the defamation case against Jindal and 16 directors of JSPL in another Delhi court.