The criminal intelligence unit (CIU) of the Mumbai cops crime branch on Tuesday specified seven more characters, including Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV and Republic Bharat news channels, as an incriminated in a 1,912-page second supplementary charge sheet in the television rating point (TRP) manipulation case.
Out Of the seven new defendants, five are associated with the Republic TV team. Shiva Subramanyam, Priya Mukherji, Shivendra Muldhekar and Ranjit Waltkar are the other four besides Goswami. The remaining two are connected to Maha Movie channel. Total 22 persons are now indicted in the case.
All you require to knowledge about the case:
A grievance was logged in the Kandivli police station on October 6 last year based on the accusation filed by representatives of Hansa Research Group, a contractor employed by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), a joint industry company organized to manage television audience measurement systems.
The grievance was filed against some of their relationship managers for supposedly manipulating TV ratings and assisting some channels to falsely intensify their ratings. The plaintiff charged certain TV channels of rigging TRP via some of their relationship managers.
According to the police, the Times Now channel’s ratings were diminished and the ratings of the Republic channel were falsely intensified by the charges due to which Times Now endured a depreciation of Rs.432 crore. Additional authentication has been presented against Goswami and other charges in the second supplementary charge sheet, said police.
Police asserted that some of the households with BARC Bar-o-Meters for measuring TRP were stimulated by Republic TV and others by Hansa Research Group’s relationship managers, who were directly in touch with the households.
The first charge sheet against the 12 defendants was lodged on November 24, 2020, after the case was transferred to the CIU and the initial supplementary charge sheet against three more charged on January 11 this year.
The CIU officers stated that the interrogation unveiled three modes of manipulation of TRPs–persuading 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 executed against the representatives of all the channels engaged 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 defendant no.19 in the case and ex BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, during the course of the examination. Gupta and Goswami were in constant relation for the benefit of the news channel and the ex BARC CEO has even shared confidential data with Goswami.
The crime branch asserted that during the scrutiny Goswami responded to a list of questions mailed to him and had supposedly professed that the rescue chats were his interaction with the ex-BARC CEO.