TRP ‘scam’: Ex-Mumbai Police officer moves court to restrain Republic TV from discussing FIR
In his plea, former ACP Iqbal Shaikh has accused Republic TV, its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, and sister Hindi channel R Bharat of launching a ‘smear campaign’ against Mumbai Police. He also took objections to comments made by Goswami against Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 15:15 IST
A former top officer of Mumbai Police has filed a civil suit in a city court, seeking to restrain Republic TV, its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, and sister Hindi channel R Bharat from discussing the first information report (FIR) registered by the force in connection with an alleged television rating points (TRP) scam.
In his plea, Iqbal Shaikh, a former assistant commissioner of police (ACP), also accused the channel of causing him ‘mental agony’ on account of its ‘defamatory reports’ against the force, seeking damages to the tune of Rs 5 lakh. Shaikh also accused Republic TV and R Bharat of launching a ‘smear campaign’ against Mumbai Police, adding that the channels’ allegations aggrieved him as he ‘takes pride in his legacy in the illustrious police force of Mumbai.’
News reports of the channels and the debates hosted by Arnab Goswami are done in complete violation of journalistic ethics, he has argued further in his plea. Shaikh, in his plea, has also taken objections to comments made by Goswami against Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The case will be heard on Wednesday at 11am in courtroom number 4 in the city civil court.
The controversy pertains to a press conference addressed by Singh on October 8, in which he accused Republic TV and two Marathi channels of ‘manipulating’ TRPs. An FIR was registered in connection with the alleged scam a day before the press conference, on October 7.
The channel, however, has denied charges made against it and moved the Supreme Court, seeking quashing of the FIR, as well as the transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
On October 15, hearing the channel’s petition on October 15, the top court asked it to move Bombay high court instead.
ARG Outlier Media, which owns Republic TV and R Bharat, has accused Mumbai Police and Singh of targeting the channels for their coverage of the Palghar lynching incident and the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
The high court, meanwhile, will begin the final hearing in the case from November 5. Six people have been arrested in connection with the case so far.