The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday carried out searches at the residence of Prannoy Roy, the co-founder and executive co-chairperson of New Delhi Television (NDTV) channel, in New Delhi and Dehradun for allegedly causing loss to a private bank.
The CBI has registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika and RRPR Holdings for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank, CBI sources said.
They said the agency is carrying out searches at four places in the national capital and Dehradun.
“This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations,” NDTV said in a statement.
It said NDTV and its promoters would fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies.
“We will not succumb to these attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India. We have one message to those who are trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for: we will fight for our country and overcome these forces,” it said.
The Centre, however, rebuffed NDTV’s ‘witch-hunt’ charge. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said law is taking its own course, adding that there is no witch-hunting at all.
“This government doesn’t believe in interfering. They (CBI) must have some information, that’s why they might have taken steps,” he added.
Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy, who last year wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing NDTV of money laundering, told news agency ANI today that fear of law is necessary.
“You cannot distinguish between media people, politicians, doctors, etc. If you have broken the law then you have broken the law. We have to develop respect for the law, and for that, we have to make it clear that nobody is above the law. Fear of the law is necessary and it will be applied no matter who you are,” Swamy told ANI.
“When all these high-profile people are raided, the common man feels that if such people can be the subject to prosecution then what will happen to them. People will automatically become honest,” he added.
Swamy had earlier urged the PM to direct the CBI to file a case against NDTV under Prevention of Corruption Act.