Delhi High Court calls for 'holistic' probe into Jindal's charges

Key witness backtracks; Big boost for Chaudhary

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Delhi High Court calls for 'holistic' probe into Jindal's charges
Delhi High Court


With key witness Ravi Muthreja writing to the police saying allegations made by him against Zee News Group Editor Sudhir Chaudhary in the case filed by former Congress MP Naveen Jindal were not true or correct and were made under the influence of the politician, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday disposed of the matter.

The order disposing of the petition by Chaudhary came after his lawyers stated that one of the witnesses, Ravi Muthreja, whose statements were recorded during the investigation, sent a letter to the police stating that the allegations leveled by him against the accused in the complaint were false and incorrect and the same were made under the influence of the then ruling party MP Naveen Jindal.

The prosecution's lawyer conceded that the letter from Muthreja had been received and assured that the same would be fairly and thoroughly investigated.

The High Court was hearing a plea filed by Chaudhary, seeking re-investigation of the case in light of the statement by the material witness that he had given a false statement coming under pressure from Naveen Jindal.

During the hearing, senior advocate Aman Lekhi and advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the entire matter hinges on the statement of Muthreja and that the other witnesses who have been examined during investigation were part of one composite whole and as the statement made by Muthreja has been stated to be made under influence, the said aspect of the matter ought to be investigated properly, in order to protect the right to fair investigation.

The court, in its order, took note of the arguments of the petitioner that a material witness in the matter had claimed to have given a statement not out of his free will, but under the influence of Naveen Jindal. The court was of the view that the matter ought to be investigated holistically, in an unbiased, fair and thorough manner.

In case the allegations made by Naveen Jindal are found to be false, then criminal action for lodging a false case can be initiated against the complainant.

The case pertains to 2012, where an FIR was registered against Zee News editors Sudhir Chaudhary and Sameer Ahluwalia by Naveen Jindal alleging that the duo had tried to extort him.

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