Mumbai: The Mumbai High Court on Tuesday heard petitions from ARG Media Outlier Ltd and Arnab Goswami challenging the Mumbai Police's investigation into the ongoing Television Rating Points (TRP) scam, where ARG lawyers alleged that the entire investigation was a front for targeted harassment of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
"Showing people [Republic TV & its employees only] as suspects are not that innocent an act as the prosecution would like to show before the court," Ashok Mundargi, the lawyer for Goswami argued as quoted by LiveLaw. He also claimed there was malafide intention behind the Mumbai Police consistently dragging Republic TV into the investigation without naming it as a suspect in the charge sheet.
While several prominent people in Republic TV such as CEO Vikas Khanchandani have been charged, the second charge sheet implicates the entire channel, he said.
ARG Media and Goswami also alleged that there was little to no basis in the accusations of manipulating TRPs as the investigation done by the police covered only a handful of houses in Mumbai where 'barometers' to measure ratings were installed. In addition to this, they had ignored the reports of TRP manipulation which had emerged in June of 2020, the lawyer argued.
"There is no report by BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), analytical or otherwise that Republic manipulated TRPs. Now, the other channel which was named is being given a clean chit," Mundargi said. The matter of ACP Sachin Vaze was also brought up with Vaze currently being implicated in a case involving the planting of a car bomb outside the home of prominent industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
ARG Media filed the petition to request a quashing of the FIR against them in the TRP case as well as a transfer of the case to a more neutral investigation agency such as the CBI. Mumbai Police has disputed all allegations.