The Delhi police on Thursday refused to give any assurance in a court here that Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra and his son will not be arrested, if their complicity comes up during probe in connection with the alleged Rs 100 crore extortion bid from Naveen Jindal's firm by two editors of his channel.
"We cannot commit or assure that they (Chandra and his son) will not be arrested. The moment we get a lead of the alleged extortion made on behalf of Zee Group by their two editors, we will arrest them," Rajiv Mohan, special public prosecutor submitted before Additional Sessions Judge Raj Rani Mitra, who reserved the order on their anticipatory bail.
The prosecutor made the submission, while opposing the anticipatory bail plea moved by Chandra and his son Punit Goenka, Managing Director of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited.
Apprehending their arrest during interrogation by the police, Chandra and Goenka approached the court seeking interim protection.
Senior advocate Geeta Luthra and Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for the father-son, contended that their clients are ready to join the probe, if the police gives them the assurance that the two will not be arrested during the time of interrogation.
"We (Chandra and Goenka) will join the investigation as has been asked by the police for December 8 and even before, if required.
"But, if the police decides to arrest us, then it should give at least five days' time so that we can argue the matter at length on some other day," the counsel argued.
Chandra's counsel argued that the liberty of their clients, who are respected in the society, is at stake. They also said that their clients should be granted protection so that they can join the probe without fear of arrest.
The prosecutor said that the investigation until now and the present evidence point towards their alleged involvement in the whole conspiracy. He also said the two jailed editors (Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia) have not acted alone and that the whole episode was planned in collusion with the seniors of the Zee group in a conspiracy hatched to extort Rs 100 crore for their channel.
Both Chaudhary and Ahluwalia, presently lodged in Tihar, 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 Indian Penal Code.
The court had rejected their bail pleas on Monday saying they have not given any new ground for their release on bail in their fresh applications after dismissal of their first one on November 28.