As the TRP scam allegations exposed the lies by Mumbai Police and showed how Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh attempted to malign Republic TV and protect India Today, Karti Chidambaram has written to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, who happens to be Shashi Tharoor, to probe the matter. Reacting to the same, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said that it is a fall for Parliament that one chargesheeted MP is writing to another chargesheeted MP to investigate a scam. While Karti Chidambaram is chargesheeted in the INX Media case, Shashi Tharoor is chargesheeted in the Sunanda Pushkar death case.
One charge sheeted MP[BC] writes to another charge sheeted MP[Gigolo] as Head of the Standing Committee on IT to take up a scam on TRP ratings. What a fall for Parliament of India !!
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) October 9, 2020
The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) under the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India measures the TRPs of channels with barometers. This installation of barometers was done by a company called Hansa Research Group.
Mumbai Police Commissioner said that the crime branch has found a massive TRP scam. Mumbai Police then arrested Vishal Ved Bhandari, Relationship Manager of Hansa on October 6. Bhandari revealed to Mumbai Police that India Today and other channels instigated him and offered money to panel homes, where Bar-O-Meter is installed for “increased ratings.” He added that a manipulative TRP rating causes several advertisers to part with a huge sum of money to undeserving channels. The Mumbai Police on October 6 lodged FIR naming India Today and other channels but not Republic TV.
Mumbai Police then issued notice to BARC on October 7, and said that Republic TV is being investigated as Vishal Ved Bhandari who has been arrested has claimed that he manipulated barometers to watch Republic TV for monetary consideration. The notice was given to the BARC under Section 91 CRPC and named Republic TV, while completely omitted the name of India Today.
Later, when Republic TV accessed the October 6 FIR copy, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that India Today’s name appeared in the initial stage of investigation, but was not substantiated by witnesses. In his press conference, however, he did not mention India Today even once. Neither did he clarify if Police investigated India Today in the matter, and what is evident is that he gave India Today a clean chit within hours. His proceed to appear on India Today after levelling allegations on Republic in an act that has, along with everything else, led to mass calls for resignation.