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Fake TRP Scam: Mumbai Police Names Arnab Goswami as Accused in 1,800 Page Chargesheet

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Photo Credit: Editor-In-Chief Times Now - Abhinav619 - CC 3.0 UA Mumbai Police Logo - Mumbai Police

The Mumbai Police named Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami as an accused in the fake TRP scam nine months after registering an FIR in the case, reported Live Law on Tuesday.

Ex-commissioner Param Bir Singh first alleged the channel of rigging the television rating points in October 2020.

The police named Goswami and four others from ARG Outlier Media (that owns Republic TV) in their 1800 page supplementary chargesheet submitted at the Esplanade Metropolitan Magistrate Court.

The other accused include COO Priya Mukherjee, Shivendu Mulelkar and Shiva Sundaram. Accomplices in the case include former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Partho Dasgupta and Republic TV’s CEO Vikash Khanchandani. The charges applied include cheating, forgery, and criminal conspiracy.

This comes after Senior Advocate Ashok Mundargi, in March, sought to quash the October 6, 2020 FIR against Goswami and ARG Outlier Media, and the two subsequent chargesheets in the case, contending that even after the chargesheet was filed, they had not been named as accused. Mundargi further said that despite months of ongoing investigation, no evidence was brought to the table.

The bench, comprising Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale, had granted Goswami protection from arrest and directed the police to give him an advance notice of three days in case they decide to take any coercive action against him. Chief Public Prosecutor Deepak Thakare for the Mumbai Police had informed the court that they would complete the investigation within 12 weeks.

Around the same time, Param Bir Singh, the then presiding officer of the case, was transferred to a low-key post in the home guard department, and Maharashtra director general of police (DGP) Hemant Nagrale was made the new Mumbai Police commissioner.

The TRP scam unravelled in October 2020 when the Mumbai Police alleged that it had uncovered a scam to rig TRPs and accused three news channels of internally rigging the viewership rating mechanism. Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh accused television channels Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema of manipulating TRPs during a press conference.

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