A court in Delhi on Tuesday asked the Delhi police to investigate the defamation complaint filed against Congress Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal and 16 others by Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary, who had alleged that false allegations were levelled against him to tarnish his image.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja directed the Station House Officer of Tuglak Road police station to probe the role of Jindal and 16 other officials of his firm Jindal Steel and Power Ltd who are named in the complaint filed by Chaudhary.
"Keeping in view the fact that 15 out of 17 accused are residing outside the territorial jurisdiction of this court i.e. PS Tuglak Road and the fact that the law laid down in Section 202 of the CrPC. It is directed that SHO, PS Tuglak Road (or his deputy), shall conduct an investigation on the allegations made in the complaint," the court said.
It also said the SHO would "investigate the role of each of the respondents qua (relating) to the two cause of actions described in the complaint" and the police "shall file the investigation report within four weeks from today."
It also ordered police to seize the minutes of the meetings and other documents of the Broadcast Editors Association regarding "termination of the membership of the complainant (Chaudhary) and removal from the post of Treasurer, BEA."
The court fixed the matter for further proceedings on February 15.
Chaudhary, who filed his complaint through his counsel Vijay Aggarwal, had earlier said Jindal and JSPL officials had made deliberately false statements and registered a false case against him in the alleged Rs 100-crore extortion bid case and defamed him by levelling allegations against him at a press conference.
Chaudhary and Zee Business editor Samir Ahluwalia 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 reports against JSPL in connection
with the coal block allocation scandal.
They were granted bail on December 17, 2012 by court in the case in which they have been booked under sections 384 (extortion), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC.
The court, in its order, directed the police to "seize the relevant pages of the minute book of JSPL covering the decisions of the management of JSPL referred in the letter dated November 18, 2012 issued by the Company Secretary of JSPL."
It also asked the police to seize the video recording of the press conference "allegedly held on October 25, 2012" by Jindal and others either from their office or from any TV news channel.
The magistrate also clarified that his order "shall not restrict the SHO, PS Tuglak Road, from conducting a full and through investigation" in the matter.
Chaudhary had earlier told the court that "in September 2012, a false case was registered against me at the behest of the respondents (Jindal and others) and they defamed me at different steps, for which I have filed the present complaint."
In his statement, Chaudhary had said Jindal, along with others, had claimed in the press conference that BEA had removed him from the post of treasurer after considering his statement, whereas he has never attended any such meeting.
Ahluwalia had also filed a separate criminal defamation complaint against Jindal and others in a court.