TRP fraud: Mumbai Police file 3,400-page supplementary charge sheet
The Mumbai Police on Monday filed a 3,400-page supplementary charge sheet in connection with the television rating point (TRP) case against Vikas Khanchandani, CEO of Republic TV; Romil Ramgarhia and Partho Dasgupta, CCO and CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), respectively.
“We have filed supplementary charge sheet in the TRP case with around 3,400 pages. There are statements from 59 witnesses including 15 experts including forensic experts. Further inquiry will continue in the case,” said Sachin Vaze, assistant inspector, who is heading the criminal intelligence unit (CIU) that is probing the case.
The agency has also named Republic TV’s COO Priya Mukherjee as accused in the charge sheet. The agency in the charge sheet claimed that Ramgarhia manipulated TRP rating of rival channels of Republic TV to show increase in TRP of Republic TV, around 40 weeks since its launch.
The police alleged that Dasgupta was also involved and communicated with office-bearers of Republic TV through official email id and WhatsApp chats. The police claimed this was done by the two for their personal gain.
Meanwhile, Dasgupta, who is still in judicial custody, has approached the sessions court for bail after the magistrate court refused to grant bail to him. The plea will be heard on January 15.
BARC had 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.
TRP, which is measured by recording viewership data at sample households, is crucial for attracting advertisers. According to police, some of these households were bribed to tune into Republic TV and a few other channels. Republic TV had, in the past, denied any wrongdoing.
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