TRP scam and Arnab Goswami: Here is what 2nd supplementary chargesheet says
TRP scam: Of the seven new accused, five are connected to the Republic TV group. Shiva Subramanyam, Priya Mukherji, Shivendra Muldhekar and Ranjit Waltkar are the other four besides Goswami.
The criminal intelligence unit of the Mumbai police crime branch on Tuesday named seven more persons, including Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV and Republic Bharat news channels, as an accused in a 1,912-page second supplementary charge sheet in the television rating point (TRP) manipulation case.
Of the seven new accused, five are connected to the Republic TV group. Shiva Subramanyam, Priya Mukherji, Shivendra Muldhekar and Ranjit Waltkar are the other four besides Goswami. The remaining two are linked to Maha Movie channel. Total 22 people are now accused in the case.
All you need to know about the case:
A complaint was registered in the Kandivli police station on October 6 last year based on the complaint lodged by representatives of Hansa Research Group, a contractor employed by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), a joint industry company set up to manage television audience measurement systems.
The complaint was registered against some of their relationship managers for allegedly manipulating TV ratings and helping some channels to artificially augment their ratings. The complainant accused certain TV channels of rigging TRP via some of their relationship managers.
According to the police, the Times Now channel's ratings were reduced and the ratings of the Republic channel were artificially increased by the accused due to which Times Now suffered a loss of ₹432 crore. Additional evidence has been submitted against Goswami and other accused in the second supplementary charge sheet, said police.
Police claimed that some of the households with BARC Bar-o-Meters for measuring TRP were bribed by Republic TV and others Hansa Research Group’s relationship managers, who were directly in touch with the households.
The first charge sheet against the 12 accused was filed on November 24, 2020, after the case was transferred to the CIU and the first supplementary charge sheet against three more accused on January 11 this year.
The CIU officers said that the investigation revealed three modes of manipulation of TRPs--inducing the panel homes with Barc-o-Meters, paying money to watch certain TV channels for a particular amount of time, dual LCN.
A case has already been made out against the representatives of all the channels involved in TRP manipulation - Box Cinema, Fast Marathi, Mahamovie, Republic TV and Republic Bharat, the police officers said.
Police recovered a long WhatsApp chat between Goswami, who is the accused no.19 in the case and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, during the course of the investigation. Gupta and Goswami were in constant touch for the benefit of the news channel and the former BARC CEO has even shared confidential information with Goswami.
The crime branch claimed that during the investigation Goswami answered a list of questions mailed to him and had allegedly accepted that the recovered chats were his conversation with the former BARC CEO.