Fake TRP racket: Police summon Republic TV’s executive editor, journalist

Maharashtra's secretary of Assembly, in a letter to Arban Goswami, had allegedly threatened him for breaching the confidentiality of the proceedings of the House by approaching the top court against a breach of privilege notice.

Mumbai Police on Tuesday (October 13) issued summons to Republic TV’s executive editor and a journalist working with the channel in connection with the fake TRP racket it is probing, an official said.

Niranjan Narayanaswamy, executive editor – news and journalist Abhishek Kapoor have been summoned by the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) at 12 noon on Wednesday, he said.

On October 10, Republic TV had aired a document which purportedly belonged to Hansa Research Group and “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the summoned persons are acquainted with certain facts and circumstances of the document and same is required to be ascertained from them”, the summons said.

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The CIU on Tuesday recorded statements of Pravin Nizarand Nitin Deokar of Hansa agency.

The Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch also visited the office of BARC and made enquiries with some officials including its scientific and technology officer, the police official said.

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Vinay Tripathi, arrested by the CIU in the case, has been brought to the city on transit remand and four other accused who were arrested earlier in the case have been sent in police custody till October 16, he said.

The fake TRP scam came to light when ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers.

Hansa is one of BARC’s vendors on engagement with panel homes or people’s meters.

Last week, Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed that Republic TV and two Marathi channels – Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi – manipulated TRP.

Republic TV rubbished Singh’s claims.

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