In a fresh development in the Zee News Limited versus industrialist Naveen Jindal case, the ZNL has approached the Central Bureau of Investigation against the Congress MP for using his official position to influence the case.
In a detailed 13-page letter to the CBI director, Santosh Nair, the authorised representative of Zee News Ltd, has pointed to a phone call made by Naveen Jindal to chairman of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) JS Verma (Retd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), to “influence him and seek a favourable order in a complaint pending before the said Authority”.
Citing cause of action for the latest complaint, Zee News claims, “On 18.10.2012 the accused company filed a complaint before the Chairman of the Press Council of India, against the persons named in the FIR,inter-alia, reiterating the same false allegations of extortion made in the complaint. The Chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice (Retd) M Katju, referred the aforesaid complaint to the Chairman, Justice (Retd) JS Verma, of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA). The NBSA issued notice to Zee News Ltd informing that the matter has been fixed for 31.10.2012 for hearing.”
It further said: “On 31stOctober, 2012 when the matter came up for hearing before the chairman of NBSA, the Learned Chairman revealed that Naveen Jindal, Member of Parliament, had telephoned him prior to the hearing to influence/pressurize him for an order favourable to him and his company. The Learned Chairman took strong umbrage to this. The Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the accused sought to tender a pre-prepared unconditional written apology on behalf of his client, which the Learned Chairman refused to accept or take on record. The hearing thereafter proceeded and as recorded in the proceedings dated 12thNovember, 2012 of the NBSA, the NBSA decided not to entertain the matter since ‘the same is sub judice in a suit filed by Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) and under investigation into the allegations made by JSPL in the FIR’. The proceedings had taken place in presence of their officers and accused, namely, Anand Goel, Rajeev Bhadauria and our counsels present in the forum that day.”
Expressing apprehensions over the Delhi Police’s ability to carry out free and fair investigation as the matter relates to a Member of Parliament belonging to the Congress party, Zee News urged the CBI to conduct a probe into the matter.