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‘Fake TRP’ case against Republic, Arnab Goswami allowed to be withdrawn

Mar 06, 2024 08:10 PM IST

The Maharashtra government decided to withdraw prosecution in the alleged TRP scam 2020. A magistrate court in Mumbai accepted the application.

A magistrate court in Mumbai on Wednesday allowed the Mumbai Police's application to withdraw all prosecution into the alleged TRP scam of 2020 in which Republic TV's Arnab Goswami was an accused. The decision to withdraw the prosecution was taken by the Maharashtra government, Livelaw reported. In 2020, Mumbai Police said they received many complaints against several channels, including Republic TV, and claimed that they inflated the ratings. The case of handled by Param Bir Singh who was then the police commissioner of Mumbai.

Arnab Goswami was one of the accused in the TRP scam 2020.

Special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray argued that the investigators hoped that victims of the alleged rigging of Television Rating Points (TRP) would come forward (to record statements), but no one who felt cheated turned up. Witnesses gave contradictory statements, he said. "In view of which, we applied our mind and felt the case would not lead to conviction and would only waste the judiciary's time and government's effort," the prosecution argued.

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The chargesheet in the case was filed in June 2021. In 2023, state home department officials obtained documents from the Mumbai police and found on re-examination that there were several flaws in the investigation carried out by dismissed police officer Sachin Waze and this team. Waze was the head of the crime intelligence unit (CIU) that investigated the case. The crime branch said the probe was also mired by allegations of bribery demands.

What is the TRP scam 2020 case?

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP (Television Ration Point) numbers. In a supplementary charge-sheet, police named Goswami as an accused alleging that Goswami in connivance with former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, a co-accused, illegally tampered with the TRP- a tool to judge which programmes are watched the most and to index the viewers' choices. The chargesheet cited Goswami's alleged acceptance of his WhatsApp chat with Dasgupta as crucial evidence to indict him in the case.

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