Arnab named in new TRP case charge sheet
The 1,912-page charge-sheet filed by crime branch’s criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) also names four others connected the Republic TV group, Shiva Subramanyam, Priya Mukherji, Shivendra Muldhekar and Ranjit Waltkar.
Mumbai crime branch on Tuesday filed its second supplementary charge-sheet in the television rating point (TRP) manipulation case, naming seven more people including Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV and R Bharat news channels among the accused.
The 1,912-page charge-sheet filed by crime branch’s criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) also names four others connected the Republic TV group, Shiva Subramanyam, Priya Mukherji, Shivendra Muldhekar and Ranjit Waltkar apart from two persons connected to Maha Movie channel - Amit Dave and Sanjay Verma.
The Mumbai police started investigating the case in October last year on a complaint by Hansa Research Group, a contractor employed by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), a joint industry company set up by stakeholders to manage television audience measurement systems.
It was alleged that some channels have manipulated the TV ratings. TRP is measured by recording viewership data at sample households and is considered crucial for attracting advertisers.
Police claimed that some of the households, where BARC Bar-o-Meters were installed for measuring TRP, were bribed by Republic TV and a few other channels through Hansa Research Group’s relationship managers who were directly in touch with the households, for illegally enhancing their TRP.
In the charge-sheet filed on Tuesday, investigators have annexed long WhatsApp chats between Goswami, named as accused no. 19 in the case, and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, which were allegedly recovered during the course of investigation. Police claimed that Gupta and Goswami were in constant touch for the news channel’s benefit and Dasgupta shared huge confidential information of BARC with Goswami.
There was no statement by Republic TV on Tuesday. The channel has, however, denied on several occasions that it had gamed the system to boost its ratings.