Mumbai court rejects bail plea of former BARC CEO in TRP case
A Mumbai sessions court on Wednesday rejected a bail application by Partho Dasgupta, former chief executive officer of the television viewership measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), in a case related to alleged manipulation of TV ratings.
Dasgupta approached the sessions court after a magistrate’s court turned down his plea, observing that a probe of the case required that he be kept away from other accused and material witnesses.
The crime branch has alleged that Dasgupta misused his official position and manipulated TRPs of some news channels. According to the agency, Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami approached Dasgupta to manipulate TRPs of some news channels to benefit his own and Republic Bharat channels, owned by ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd.
Opposing Dasgupta’s bail application in the sessions court, special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray submitted that although the charge-sheet in the case had been filed, there were many aspects that need to be investigated. He argued that Dasgupta’s release could lead to tampering with the prosecution witnesses who work under him.
The prosecution has cited purported WhatsApp chats as evidence of the allegations against Dasgupta.
“We have shown to the court the WhatsApp chat regarding the TRPs in which Dasgupta promised to take down some other channels and put Arnab’s channel on the higher position,” he said.
Dasgupta’s lawyer told the court that there was no evidence to back the allegations against him. Finding merit in the prosecution’s submissions, sessions court judge M A Bhosale rejected Dasgupta’s bail plea.
(With Agency inputs)
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