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Photo: IBNLive

Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra on Saturday appeared before police for questioning in connection with the alleged Rs 100 crore extortion bid by two Zee Editors from Congress MP Naveen Jindal's company for not airing news damaging to it. Chandra, who had secured a interim protection from arrest till December 14 by a Delhi court, came to Crime Branch office in Chanakyapuri along with lawyers where he was questioned.

His questioning came following police sending three notices to him asking him to join investigations in the case in which two of Zee editors - Sudhir Chaudhury and Samir Ahluwalia - were arrested in November following investigations into complaint filed on October 2. Chandra had earlier told police that he could not appear before them as he was out of the country but later on December 3 he told them he will be ready to appear within 96 hours of notice. Police then asked him to appear before them on December 8.

Investigators have told a local court earlier that they were treating him as an accused as he knew about the dealings between his employees and Congress MP Naveen Jindal's company. Zee Group has denied the allegations and demanded the immediate release of its two senior journalists, alleging the police action was "illegal" and "designed for something else".

In a letter to Delhi Police through his lawyer RK Handoo, the Zee Group Chairman had claimed "vested interests" have created a public "mis-impression" that he is deliberately not joining investigations. Terming the campaign as "vicious", "malafide" and "unwarranted", the letter said Chandra had informed the police on November 27 that he went ahead with his "pre-scheduled" meetings and engagements in India and abroad.

While granting interim relief from arrest, the court had directed Chandra and his son to "join and cooperate" with the probe. It had ordered both of them to surrender their passport with the police. Chandra's son Puneet Goenka, who was also asked to appear before police, also joined the investigations. Puneet came separately. Chandra was accompanied by his brother Jawahar Goel when he arrived at the crime branch office at 2 pm.

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