‘Issue summons to Arnab Goswami if he is proposed to be addressed as accused in TRP scam FIR’: Bombay HC
The alleged manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRPs) got a new twist on Monday. The Bombay high court asked the Mumbai Police to issue summons to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami if he is proposed to be addressed as an accused.
Republic TV is one of the three channels accused by Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh of manipulating the ratings.
The police has filed a First Information Report (FIR), but the court said they first need to issue summons to Goswami. The case is being heard by a bench comprising Justice SS Shinde and MS Karnik.
During the course of the hearing, Goswami’s counsel Harish Salve said that his client will appear before the police if summoned. Salve also assured the court of full cooperation from Goswami’s side.
The channel moved the high court seeking quashing of the FIR registered in the case and its transfer from Mumbai police to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The channel filed the petition on October 16, a day after the Supreme Court refused to hear a plea of one of its senior officials challenging the summons issued by the Mumbai police, and asked him to approach the Bombay high court instead.
It has also pleaded that no coercive action (including arrest) should be carried out against employees of the channel.
The high court has agreed to start the final hearing in the case from November 5. It has directed the police to produce all the developments in investigation before it in a sealed cover by November 4.
Six people have been arrested by the Mumbai police in the scam, which allegedly involves inducing homes which form the sample set whose TV viewing is monitored to ensure that certain channels get higher ratings. The ratings are a key influencer of advertiser preferences while placing commercials. The police claim this is a “multi-crore” scam.
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