The Delhi High Court has upheld a sessions court’s order directing the city police to conduct further probe against Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra, Zee editors Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia for their alleged Rs 100 crore extortion bid from Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s firm.
A bench of Justice Sunil Gaur passed the order while dismissing Chaudhary’s plea against the Additional Sessions Judge’s (ASJ) January 6 order by which the ASJ had held that the magisterial court’s view on applicability of the penal provisions in the case shall have no effect.
The high court also observed that the observations made by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) in his September 13, 2013 “were uncalled for” and that the ASJ had aptly held that probe would be carried out unswayed by the CMM’s view.
The CMM had refused to take cognisance of the charge sheet filed in the case saying there were “material lacunae” in the investigation and had directed further probe in the matter. He had also observed that the offences of both extortion and cheating cannot be simultaneously made out against the accused.
The CMM’s order was challenged in a sessions court by the police on the ground that the magistrate at the stage of taking cognisance proceeded to discuss merits of the case “contrary to established legal norms”.
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The Crime Branch of Delhi Police had last year filed a charge sheet against Chandra, Chaudhary and Ahluwalia under various provisions of the IPC, including sections 384/511 (attempt to extortion), 420/511 (attempt to cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence).