OPEN LETTER BY ZEE NEWS LIMITED TO MEDIA COLLEAGUES
May 14, 2013
Dear Media colleague,
We just saw the press release by JSPL asking you to publish rejection of anticipatory bail application of Zee News Editor along with some other issues and running a campaign against the Zee media brand.
We have to briefly bring to your notice that the entire matter and three FIRs filed against us are against the law (according to us) and the matter for quashing of FIRs and a writ under Article 32 of the Constitution for freedom of speech are pending in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. We are enclosing herewith a Legal Opinion by Justice Deepak Verma, Former Judge of Supreme Court at Annexure-A, which is interesting reading.
FIR dated 2nd October, 2012 was filed alleging that Zee News was trying to extort money in Coalgate scam and Zee News was running false stories. Subsequent events have proven that whatever Zee News was telecasting have all been right. Zee News has information about many other wrong-doings by JSPL & others, which have yet to be made public and Sh. Naveen Jindal and his company are aware of the continuing efforts of Zee News team to gather the evidences and bring out the truth, which is making them nervous.
We are enclosing two pages (Annexure B), one is the excerpts taken from the transcript filed by Sh. Jindal & JSPL, which proves and which has been admitted by Sh. Jindal and JSPL at various forums that they offered bribe to Sh. Samir Ahluwalia, Editor of Zee Business, and the other, when Sh. Samir Ahluwalia refused to accept it, they sent an e-mail stating that they want to advertise on the Zee Network. Hence, you will see that there is no question of any attempt to extort. At best anyone can say that when Samir wanted to collect evidence of bribery by getting a signed copy of advertising contract from JSPL, he could be alleged for not being prepared well so that he could have recorded counter statements, many of which have been deleted by JSPL in the recording.
We feel that such an FIR can be filed and pursued without the STATE support. JSPL has been able to manage the legal system and process and have hired dozens of lawyers, counsels and senior counsels, hence the court outcome against Zee officials.
We felt that while the active campaign going on against Zee News is seemingly only against Zee but underneath this, there is a campaign to malign the entire media, which should be brought to notice of all of you FRIENDS.
The details of two other FIRs are such wrong allegations and if they succeed, the reporting of news in future will no more be factual and any Government of today or future will misuse against any form of media and any media brand. We are sending a detailed note on these FIRs as well, separately.
We will leave the choice to you whether to bring this out in your medium or not but do suggest strongly that you should think it over to get to the bottom of the matter.
Wish you and your media brand the very best.
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