Allegations of extortion attempt made against a television channel by a private firm took a new turn today with the Press Council of India (PCI) taking up the issue and a broadcasting body removing an office bearer associated with the channel.
PCI chairperson Justice Markandey Katju today wrote to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) to probe an alleged extortion attempt by certain people belonging to Zee news from Jindal Steel and Power Limited.
Meanwhile, the Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) in a statement, announced that it was removing Sudhir Chaudhary, the editor of Zee News, from its membership following the allegations.
But Chaudhary, in a letter to BEA President Shazi Zaman, refuted the allegations saying malicious propaganda had been unleashed against him.
In his letter to NBSA chairperson Justice J S Verma, Katju said industrialist and MP Naveen Jindal had met him and complained about the alleged extortion demand from officials of the channel for publicising his version.
“It is alleged that they first telecast false news against Jindal as regards allocation of coal blocks and other issues, in order to injure and harm the reputation and business of Jindal, and when Jindal invited them for a discussion to tell them the correct facts Zee officials demanded 100 crore for publicizing the version of Jindal,” Justice Katju said.