Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra and his son were today granted interim protection from arrest till December 14 by a Delhi court which directed them to "join and cooperate" with the probe in the case of alleged Rs 100 crore extortion bid from Congress MP Naveen Jindal's firm by two editors of the news channel.
The court directed the Delhi Police, which has decided to interrogate Chandra and his son Punit Goenka on December 8, to file a fresh report on December 14. The police are yet to decide about their custodial interrogation.
It ordered both of them to surrender their passport with the police.
"I have heard arguments and carefully perused the material placed before me. Keeping in view the totality of circumstances of the case, the fact that prosecution has not reached a conclusion as to whether custodial interrogation of the applicants is required in the present case, the applicants are directed to join and cooperate with the investigation of the case.
"The matter be renotified for further arguments and fresh report from the Investigating Officer (IO) on December 14. In the meantime, applicants shall not be arrested. However, they are directed to surrender their passport to the IO,"Additional Sessions Judge Raj Rani Mitra said.
The order was passed after hearing arguments on the application filed by the father-son duo, seeking interim protection from arrest or anticipatory bail in the case in which two editors of Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia, were arrested on November 27.
During the day's hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan, however, opposed their plea saying, "We cannot commit or assure that they (Chandra and his son) will not be arrested. The moment we get a lead of the alleged extortion made on behalf of Zee Group by their two editors, we will arrest them."