TRP scam: Mumbai cops rubbish Republic TV’s demand for CBI probe

Republic TV has said that it was being targeted for its coverage of Palghar lynching and actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death

Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh's team has filed an advance petition in the apex court late last night, stating that the Republic TV is abusing the process of law by conducting programmes in the case and "intimidating the witnesses". (PTI photo)

Republic TV has asked for a CBI probe into the alleged TRP scam, but the Mumbai police have firmly opposed its plea in the Supreme Court, terming it as an “attempt to thwart police probe in the case”.

The Mumbai Police filed an advance petition in the apex court late last night, stating that the Republic TV is abusing the process of law by conducting programmes in the case and “intimidating the witnesses”.

“Republic TV’s demand to transfer the probe to CBI is misconceived. Republic TV wants to thwart the probe into fudging of TRP ratings. Media trial is against free and fair probe. Arnab Goswami (Republic TV’s editor-in-chief) is holding programmes where this case is debated at length and contacting witnesses and interfering and intimidating the witnesses,” the police said in the affidavit.

A three-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee will hear the Republic TV’s petition through a video link on Thursday (October 15).

Mumbai Police also responded to Republic TV’s charge on being “denied freedom of speech”. The police petition stated: “Freedom of speech right cannot be invoked into an alleged crime. Right under Article 19(1) freedom of speech cannot be a shield against probe,” it said.

Also read: The murky world of TRP and ad revenue: All you need to know

Besides Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema are also being investigated in the alleged manipulation of ratings scam. A complaint in this regard was filed by Hansa, a private company involved in assessing viewership.

In response to the Mumbai police’s charge, Republic TV has said that it was being targeted for its coverage of Palghar lynching and actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, where they have questioned the role of Mumbai Police.

For records, Republic TV claims the highest TRPs or Television Rating Points among all news channels in the country.

Republic’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami had said they will take the Mumbai Police to court, stating that there is “not a single BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) report that mentioned Republic TV”. “The people of India know the truth. BARC has not mentioned Republic in any complaint,” he has maintained since the day Mumbai police filed a case against the channel.

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