The Bombay High Court hearing the plea to quash the FIR lodged against Republic TV in the TRP scam case has said that as on date the media networks’ editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami is not an accused in the case.
Answering queries by senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the media house, regarding Mumbai police’ intention to arrest the Republic TV chief, the court said that since Arnab is not an accused in the case, the question of his arrest does not arise. Therefore, the court noted that it sees no reason to pass an interim order of protection for the media house chief.
“As far as interim protection is concerned, the bench observes it may not be necessary as there is no mention of Republic in FIR. And in case of urgency, we will grant you the liberty to move urgently here”, said the court to Harish Salve, who had appeared for Republic TV.
Bench : As on today, he (#ArnabGoswami ) is not an accused. So we do not think there is any reason to pass an interim order of protection.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) October 19, 2020
Salve continues to persuade the bench.#RepublicTV #bombayhc @MumbaiPolice
Directing Mumbai police to issue summons to Goswami if they feel the need to question him in the case, the Bombay HC asked the Republic TV chief to cooperate with the investigating officer in case he summons Arnab for questioning.
Expressing concerns about police interviews to media, the bench headed by Justice SS Shinde noted: “We are not saying only about the present matter. It is happening in other sensitive matters where investigation is pending. Officers are not supposed to reveal incriminatory material”.
The bench expresses concerns about police interviews to media.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) October 19, 2020
“We are not saying only about the present matter. It is happening in other sensitive matters where investigation is pending. Officers are not supposed to reveal incriminatory material”, J Shinde.@MumbaiPolice
It is pertinent to note here that earlier, Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh had addressed a press conference to name Republic TV in the ‘fake TRP’ scam despite the FIR naming India Today in the scam. Param Bir Singh, who had seemingly made up his mind that Republic TV was the culprit, had sent a notice to BARC to acquire their viewership data. Singh had also claimed that BARC had found that Republic TV had carried manipulation in viewership data.
Meanwhile, Bombay HC has issued a notice on the petition and asked for the investigation papers to be submitted in court in a sealed cover. It has decided to hear the petition finally on November 5 at 3 PM.
Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami moves Bombay HC for quashing of FIR in TRP scam case
Republic TV has moved the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the FIR lodged against the channel by the Mumbai Police in the TRP (television rating points) scam case. The petition filed by Republic TV had also sought a direction to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to ensure a fair and transparent probe.
Mumbai Police and Maha Govt’s witch hunt against Republic TV continues
The Mumbai police, at the behest of the Maharashtra government, has been hounding Republic TV for quite some time now. Arnab Goswami had said that the Mumbai PC is scared about facts coming out in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
Only two days back, the Mumbai police had illegally detained the channel’s consulting editor, Pradeep Bhandari. We reported how the Mumbai police had physically assaulted and hounded Bhandari and kept him confined at the Khar police station for almost 10 hours. Minutes before Bhandari came out of the police station, he had tweeted that Mumbai police had attempted to arrest him, disregarding the bail order by police.
Prior to this, Republic TV’s CFO was also summoned in connection to the controversial ‘TRP scam’. The most interesting part of this entire fiasco is that Mumbai police has not yet summoned anyone from India Today, the channel which has actually been named in the FIR lodged in the TRP scam case.