New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) Zee News journalists Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia's bail petition was deferred till Dec 3 by a court here Saturday. The duo were arrested here Nov 27 on charges of attempting to extort Rs.100 crore from Jindal Power and Steel Ltd.
Chaudhary, head of Zee News and Ahluwalia, head of Zee Business, were arrested here Nov 27 on charges of attempting to extort Rs.100 crore from Jindal Power and Steel Ltd. (JPSL) in exchange for not filing news reports linking the firm to the irregular coal blocks allocation.
JPSL is owned by Congress MP Naveen Jindal.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Rao deferred their bail petition as the investigating officer and public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan were not present at the hearing.
The next hearing will be Monday. The court has further sought a notice from Delhi Police seeking a response for their absence for the hearing.
Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were produced in court after their police custody expired Friday and they were sent into 14 days judicial custody. They are lodged in Tihar Jail.
Earlier, the court had sent both journalists to two days police remand and had dismissed their bail plea, after which they moved a fresh bail application Friday.
Police booked Chaudhary and Ahluwalia under Sections 384 (extortion), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Before arresting Chaudhary and Ahluwalia, police had charged them under Section 420 (cheating).
Meanwhile, Zee News chairman Subhash Chandra did not join the probe Saturday despite several reminders by police.
Police had told the court that they are treating Chandra as an accused in the case.