Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Sunday reacted to Republic Media Network’s newsbreak exposing Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, demanding strict action against him for targeting the channel based on personal agenda, as BARC’s email put the facts of the TRP case on record.
While speaking to Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Pralhad Joshi said, “Before doing any proper investigation, he named Republic TV, which is 100% false. He did pre-judging. Pre-judging by any officer is wrong, first of all, he is not an investigation officer, he should appoint an officer for investigation. Some other TV channel which had interviewed the statements, they also categorically said that no one had ever taken the name of Republic TV.”
“It is not only pre-judging, it is prejudice, it is targeting because you have exposed many things regarding the Maharashtra Government. You have criticized as a journalist. They are targeting Republic TV which I strongly condemn, and now the due process of law should take place and there should be action against the Police Commissioner,” he added.
What is the BARC’s email to Republic?
Republic Media Network’s CEO Vikas Khanchandani wrote an email to BARC on October 16, 2020, requesting it to “confirm in the public domain” that the “BARC and its vigilance team has found no infringement by Republic TV (ARG Outliers Media Pvt. Ltd)”. In response to Vikas Khanchandani’s email, BARC responded on October 17, 2020, by thanking the network for their “faith in the internal mechanisms of BARC” and said that “if there was any disciplinary action initiated against ARG Outlier Media Private Ltd, then BARC India would have communicated the same to you along with necessary documents for your response.”
Thus, this e-mail proves that BARC did not allege any malpractice against the Republic Media Network, and yet, the Mumbai Police Commissioner floated a factually-bereft campaign against it, which has been comprehensively exposed at every turn. The email by BARC shows that the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s entire campaign against Republic Media Network was based on a lie.
Param Bir Singh had held a news conference to accuse Republic TV and two Marathi news channels – Fakht Marathi and Box Cinema – of being involved in an alleged TRP scam. He claimed that after an investigation based on a complaint by an agency working with BARC, it has found that money was paid to watch the channel for certain hours in order to increase ratings. However, just six hours later, Republic Media Network accessed the FIR – based on which Police had undertaken said investigation – and exposed that there was not one mention of Republic TV or any affiliate-entity of the Republic Media Network in it; Instead, the FIR named another news channel. Republic also accessed the complaint based on which the FIR was filed, which concurred that Republic was in no way named.