Action against NDTV as per due process of law: CBI

NEW DELHI
6 Jun 2017

The CBI today sought to clarify its decision on carrying out raids against NDTV bosses saying the agency respects freedom of press and the action was taken as per the due process of law.

The statement comes in the wake of various media organisations, including the much-powerful Editors Guild of India, expressing deep concern over the raids conducted by the CBI on the offices of NDTV and its promoters. "Entry of police and other agencies into the media offices is a serious matter," the Editors Guild statement had said after the raids on Monday. In an unusually lengthy statement, the agency said it has not conducted any search on the registered office of NDTV, media studio, news room or premises connected with media operations.

"CBI fully respects the freedom of press and is committed to the free functioning of news operations," it said and clarified that the allegations under investigation are not regarding the default in loan repayment. The allegations "relate to the wrongful gain of Rs 48 crore to the promoters--Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy, RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd and a corresponding wrongful loss to the ICICI bank arising from their collusion and criminal conspiracy," the CBI said. NDTV in its statement yesterday had termed the action of the CBI to register FIR and carry out searches at Roys' as an attempt to muzzle the media.

The ruling party politicians could not "stomach" the "independence and fearlessness" of NDTV's team and the CBI raid is merely another attempt at silencing the media," it had said. The CBI, while advising restraint, said denigrating the allegations at this stage of probe and wrongly accusing the agency of acting under pressure is uncalled for and an attempt to malign the image of the agency.