Mumbai, Nov 24 (PTI) Nearly 50 days after the Mumbai
police unearthed a racket related to alleged rigging of
television rating points (TRPs), they filed a charge sheet in
a court on Tuesday in the case in which 12 people, including
senior executives of Republic TV and two other channels, have
been arrested so far.
The charge sheet was submitted before a magistrates
court around 10.30 am by the Special Investigation Team (SIT)
of the Mumbai Crime branch which is probing the case, an
The voluminous document, containing 1,400 pages, has
cited approximately 140 people as witnesses, which include
Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) officials, forensic
experts, forensic auditors, advertisers and barometer users,
among others, he said.
Statements of advertisers are also part of the charge
sheet in which they said have alleged cheating, the official
Forensic audit of TV channels, including Republic
TVs accounts, form part of the document, he said.
Another 2,000 pages will be added in a supplementary
charge sheet to be filed later. Along with forensic and
technical evidence, it will contain chat logs, emails,
messages and other data extracted from phones, laptop and
computers seized from the accused persons, he said.
The Crime Branch has so far arrested 12 persons,
including Republic TV”s western region distribution head
Ghanshyam Singh and owners of two other channels, in
connection with the scam, he said.
Republic TV and other accused have denied any
wrongdoing and manipulation of the TRP system.
During investigations, it came to surface that Singh
used to take orders from his bosses at the TV channel, he
Singh was part of various WhatsApp groups of ARG
Outlier Media, which owns the Republic TV channel, the
The chats are highly incriminating and suspicious and
show involvement of his bosses in the alleged scam, he said,
adding all these form part of the chargesheet.
Two arrested accused had expressed willingness to
become approvers and their statements under section 164 of the
CrPC (admissible in court) were recorded before a magistrate,
During the probe, it came to light that some cable
operators had used dual LCN technology which allowed viewing
of one channel on two channel numbers at a time. One of the
channels involved in the alleged TRP manipulation could be
seen on a TV network for kids, the official said.
These cable operators and channels have received
notices from the regulator TRAI for violation of rules, he
The alleged scam came to light when rating agency BARC
filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, saying certain
television channels were rigging TRP numbers.
At a press conference held on October 8, Mumbai police
commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed thatRepublic TVand
two Marathi channels Box CinemaandFakt Marathi – were
involved in manipulating TRP for better advertisement revenue.
Maha Movie channels Amit Dave, its owner/director,
Republic TV channels owner/director and/or people related to
them, News Nation channels owner/director and/or people
related to them, a person named Rocky and some others were
shown as wanted accused by the Crime Branch in the remand
applications submitted before the court.
Earlier, Republic TV”s Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
and two Chief Operating Officers (COOs) and Chief Finance
Officer (CFO) were summoned by the police for questioning in
the TRP racket case.
Meanwhile, a Mumbai Crime Branch team is in Bengaluru
to apprehendRepublic TV COO Priyanka Mukherjee, who has filed
an anticipatory bail application before the Karnataka High
Court, the official said.
The application is likely to be heard on Wednesday.
The Mumbai Crime Branch has “direct evidence” against
Mukherjee and her bosses, he said, adding the police also
found her link with Ghanshyam Singhs chat box.
Mukherjee was summoned and notices were issued to her
almost eight times and on two occasions she appeared before
the probe team, he said.
While coming to the Crime Branch office for
questioning, she had allegedly deleted chats with Republic TV
Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami from her phone, he said.
Maha Movie channels Amit Dave has also filed an
anticipatory bail application before a court in Mumbai and its
hearing is scheduled on Wednesday, the official said.
The SIT had summoned Wow channel owner Jayanti Gada
and his son Akshay to record their statements in the TRP case
on Tuesday, but the duo said they will appear on Wednesday, he
Wow channel is also known as Pen Music Company.
The CEO of the company appeared before the probe team
on Tuesday and recorded his statement, he said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently filed a
money laundering complaint in the alleged TRP scam being
investigated by the Mumbai Police. PTI DC GK
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI