TRP Manipulation Case: CIU Charge Sheet Names Arnab Goswami Among the Accused

TRP Manipulation Case: CIU Charge Sheet Names Arnab Goswami Among the Accused

The Mumbai Police Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) filed a second supplementary charge sheet on Tuesday in the TRP (television rating point) manipulation case. The charge sheet names seven additional people, including the Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV and Republic Bharat news channels, Arnab Goswami. 

Five of the seven accused named in the charge sheet have connections to the Republic TV group. These include Shiva Subramanyam, Priya Mukherji, Shivendra Muldhekar, Ranjit Waltkar, as well as Arnab Goswami. Further, two people connected to the Maha Movie channel, Amit Dave and Sanjay Verma, have also been named. This takes the number of accused in this case to 22.  

Following a complaint in October last year by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) through contractor Hansa Research Group, the Kandivali Police registered an offence against some of their relationship managers over allegations of manipulating TV ratings while also helping some channels boost their ratings artificially.

ReadMumbai Court Rejects Bail Of Former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta In The TRP Scam Case

The complaint alleged that some channels were engaging in the rigging of TRPs via Hansa’s relationship managers.

The police then claimed that some households where BARC’s Bar-o-Meters were set up had been bribed by Republic TV and some other channels via the relationship managers of Hansa Research Group. 

Following this, the case was transferred to the CIU which went on to file the first charge sheet against 12 accused in November. On January 11, 2021, officials filed the first supplementary charge sheet against three more individuals.

CIU officers further revealed that three modes were utilized by the channels in question to boost TRPs. It is alleged that some households were bribed to watch certain TV channels for a specific period of time, while some adopted dual LCN by running one TV channel on two different frequencies through Multi-System Operators or cable operators, and some engaged in the manipulation of TV viewership data (Metarule) at BARC.

The police said that they have already made a case against representatives of the channels involved in this TRP manipulation case including Box Cinema, Fast Marathi, Mahamovie, Republic TV, and Republic Bharat. 

During the course of the investigations, the police found that the channel rating for Times Now (Goswami’s former network) was reduced leading to losses of up to ₹432 crores. Police further claimed that they have submitted additional evidence in the second supplementary charge sheet against Goswami and the other accused in the case. 

WhatsApp conversations between Goswami and former CEO of BARC, Partho Dasgupta had also shown that the two were in touch frequently with Dasgupta sharing vital information pertaining to BARC with Goswami. 

Also readTRP Scam Case: Arnab Goswami Carrying On Vendetta Against Mumbai Police

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