New Delhi: The Prime Witness of the Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) case against Zee News reporters Samir Ahluwalia and SudhirChaudhary has turned against Naveen Jindal himself as the witness Sh. Ravi Mutherejah as written a latter to police stating that his statement and allegations has been made under influence of former Member of Parliament (MP) Naveen Jindal. The Delhi High Court has ordered for a reinvestigation of the FIR in a fair manner.
Earlier in October 2012, An FIR No. 240 of 2012 was registered at Police Station Crime Branch, District Crime and Railway, on the basis of a complaint filed by M/s Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) whereby it was alleged that defamatory material was telecast at ZEE News Channel against JSPL and when JSPL officials approached and met Zee employees Samir Ahluwalia and SudhirChaudhary, the latter demanded money in lieu of stopping the said telecast. In view of the same, the above said FIR alleging attempt to extortion was got registered.
During investigation of the matter, the Police had recorded statements under Section 161 CrPC, including that of Sh. Ravi Muthereja (a material witness in the matter). However, the said witness (Sh. Ravi Muthereja) wrote a letter to the Police, stating that various allegations made by him against the accused in the Complaint and FIR were not true and correct and were made under the influence of Shri Naveen Jindal (the then MP of the ruling party).
In view of the same, a Writ Petition bearing W. P. (Crl.) No. 2734 of 2017 titled SudhirCharudhary Vs. State and Anr. was listed on 19.09.2017 before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, seeking a prayer for reinvestigation of said FIR 240/2012.
The matter was argued at length by Sr. Adv. AmanLekhi and Adv. Vijay Aggarwal, Counsels for the Petitioner, arguing that the entire matter hinges on the statement of Sh. Ravi Mutheraja and that the other witnesses, who have been examined during investigation, are part of one composite whole and as the statement made by Sh. Ravi Mutheraja has been stated to be made under influence, the said aspect of the matter ought to be investigated properly, in order to protect the right to fair investigation.
The Ld. APP for State, conceded before the Court that the letter by Sh. Ravi Mutheraja has been received and stated that the same shall be fairly and thoroughly investigated.
The Court, in its order, took note of the arguments of the Petitioner that a material witness in the matter has claimed to have given statement not out of his free will, but under the influence of Sh. Naveen Jindal, the then MP of the ruling party. The Court was of the view that the matter ought to be investigated holistically.
Accordingly, the Writ Petition was disposed off, by taking note of the fact that the matter shall be investigated holistically, in an unbiased, fair and thorough manner.
In view of the same, the matter shall be investigated thoroughly and all consequences that follow, shall follow. In case, after investigation, the allegations made in the FIR are found to be false, then the same shall have serious repercussions on the case and criminal action for lodging a false case can be initiated against those who had lodged the FIR.