GR News Desk, New Delhi
NDTV Promoters, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy were stopped by authorities at Mumbai Airport and detained. It is not clear which law enforcement agency detained them. But media reports suggested that the duo is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a money laundering case.
The CBI in a FIR has accused the duo and a private company of defrauding banks, following which the Enforcement Directorate(ED) had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
In a statement, the leading media company said both were stopped from travelling abroad on the basis of “a fake unsubstantitated corruption case initiated by the CBI” two years ago. The developments also comes over two years after the Roys were searched by the CBI in an alleged bank fraud.
The news network, which has been credited with pioneering television news in the country, had then called the actions as a “witch hunt”.
“We will not succumb to these attempts to blantly undermine democracy and free speech” the news company had said in a statement then. The Editors Guild had also expressed its concerns in the matter.
The statement posted by NDTV on twitter read: “In a complete subversion of basic rights and in shameful continuance of the campaign to warn the media that nothing less than complete obeisance is acceptable, NDTV founders Radhika and Prannoy Roy were today prevented from leaving the country; they were scheduled to spend a week abroad and their return was booked for the 15th. They have been stopped on the basis of a fake and wholly unsubstantiated corruption case filed by the CBI about an ICICI loan that was taken by their company, RRPR, which was fully repaid with interest ahead of schedule. The case has been challenged by the NDTV founders and their company in the Delhi High Court where the matter has been pending for two years. Radhika and Prannoy Roy have been fully cooperating with the case and they have been travelling abroad regularly and returning to the country so to suggest they are a flight risk is ludicrous. The authorities did not inform the court, where the matter is subjudice, or the Roys, about today’s action. It is, along with events like raids on media owners, a warning to the media to fall in line – or else”.