2020 TRP scam case: Maharashtra court allows cops to withdraw prosecution

The ED had earlier given Republic TV and R Bharat a clean chit.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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A Maharashtra magistrate court has allowed the withdrawal of prosecution into the 2020 TRP scam case, in which Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami was an accused, Livelaw reported.

The court allowed the Mumbai police’s plea after the BJP-Shiv Sena led Maharashtra government decided to withdraw prosecution in the case related to the manipulation of television rating points, or TRPs.

This comes over a year after the Enforcement Directorate gave a clean chit to Goswami’s Republic TV and R Bharat, saying no evidence was found against the channels.

The case, which dates back to 2020, is connected to allegations that some media houses bribed homeowners to “rig” ratings. The Mumbai police had named Republic TV as one of the biggest names involved in the alleged scam. The FIR had also named India Today.

In September 2022, the ED said the police’s investigation was “at variance with the probe done by the ED”, and claimed the police’s forensic report was “superficial” and “based on analysis of limited aspects”.

he ED’s chargesheet named 16 accused but did not mention ARG Outlier Media, which owns Republic TV and R Bharat, or the channel’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, or officials from BARC.

However, the central agency acknowledged instances of TRP manipulation, and a “wider conspiracy between channel viewers, agents and RMs to influence/induce the panel households to watch certain channels for monetary gains”. 

What was the alleged TRP scam? Newslaundry had reported in depth on the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai police on purported WhatsApp conversations between Arnab Goswami and then BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta. Read our series here.

How did the channels allegedly pull it off? Watch here

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