A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided premises of NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, the investigating agency said they ‘fully respect freedom of press.’ The agency said that the case against the channel or its promoters is not due to default of any loan but “relate to the wrongful gain of Rs 48 crore to the promoters – Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy, M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd” and resulting financial losses to ICICI bank due to their “collusion and criminal conspiracy.”
The CBI has clarified that raids have only been conducted at the offices and premises of the news channel’s promoters. “CBI has not conducted any search of registered office of NDTV, media studio, news room or premises connected with media operations. CBI fully respects the freedom of press and is committed to the free functioning of news operations,” the statement said.
“The investigation is being conducted as per the due process of law and under the jurisdiction of the court of law. The result of investigation will be filed before the competent court of law based on the evidence adduced during investigation,” the CBI said.
Calling the CBI raid a “witch-hunt”, the channel on Monday had issued a statement saying that it was a “concerted harassment of NDTV”, a charge which the central government denied. The Editor’s Guild had also issued a statement criticising the government for ‘hounding the media house’.
The CBI had registered a case against Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy for willful default of loans and causing financial loss to the ICICI Bank. The CBI had raided as many as four places in Delhi and Dehradun. RRPR Holdings is a company founded by the Roys.