TRP scam: Maharashtra to complete probe against Republic TV in 12 weeks

ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Zara Khan
Mar 24, 2021 02:51 PM IST

The defence counsel said that though it had been four months since investigations started, the police had been unable to get any evidence against the channel or Arnab Goswami

On Wednesday, after the Maharashtra government assured the Bombay high court that it will complete its investigation into the role of Republic TV in the TRP manipulation case within 12 weeks, the court directed Mumbai Police to give an advance notice of three days to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, if he had to be arrested in the case.

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. (HT archive)
Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. (HT archive)

A division bench of justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale, while hearing the petition filed by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd and Goswami seeking quashing of the FIR and charge sheet filed by Mumbai Police in the alleged TRP manipulation case, was informed by senior counsel Ashok Mundargi that the cases were solely intended to target his clients for adverse reportage against the police and state government.

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Also Read | TRP Case: Probe agencies should act reasonably, says Bombay HC

Mundargi argued that while other channels were also named in the case, employees of only his clients’ channel were being interrogated. He added that though it had been four months since investigations started the police had been unable to get any evidence against the channel or Goswami. In light of this, Mundargi submitted that his clients are required protection from coercive action pending hearing.

The bench then sought to know as to when the police would complete the probe.

Responding to the court query on Wednesday, chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare submitted that the investigation against Republic TV and its employees would be completed within 12 weeks. Thereafter, the court directed the state to give a three-day notice to Goswami in case he was to be arrested.

The court noted that investigation could not be stayed as there was no clarity on who is and who is not an accused. While posting further hearing on the plea to June 28, the court directed Goswami to co-operate with the investigation.

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