Media network Republic TV has issued a statement condemning the summons issued by Mumbai police to their investors to join the investigation in the TRP scam. The crime branch of Mumbai police had issued summons to the owners of RPG Power Trading Ltd, Anant Udyog LLP, Purvanchal Leasing Ltd, Pan Capital Investment, Dynamic Storage and Retrieval Systems Private Ltd to join the investigation on October 23.
The police also reportedly alleged a one-time payment of Rs 32 lakh made to Republic TV by Hansa Group, saying it could be linked to the TRP case. Republic TV had clarified yesterday that the payment was made by the media buying arm of the Hansa Group for the purpose of on-air advertising on the channel. The channel denied having done any business with Hansa Research, the company that managers Bar-o-meters of BARC.
Republic TV Statement
A statement has been released by Republic TV regarding the summons issued by the Mumbai police to the investors of the media network. In its statement, the media channel called it “highhandedness” of the Mumbai police “in the guise of investigative process”. The channels said that the crime branch has asked every investor of the channel to produce all financial transactions relating to last five years. Calling the Mumbai police’s action a display of “intimidatory tactics”, the statement said that Encounter Specialist and API Sachin Vaze had given instructions for making even the smaller investors of the channel appear before the crime branch for interrogation. In the statement, the media channel said that Mumbai police was going after the channel in a “witch-hunt” by issuing 91 notices to them so far and now calling the investors.
Recently, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) which is an international body based in New York, had issued a statement regarding the ongoing investigation by Mumbai police against Republic TV. The body which defends the rights of journalists had asked Mumbai police to stop their investigation against Republic TV.
Action against journalists
Recently, an FIR was filed by Mumbai police against the entire editorial team of Republic TV allegedly inciting disaffection among Mumbai police and for defaming them. The police had also served notice to the media network seeking details of every single employee and journalist working for the Republic TV and details of every transaction made by the channel since its inception. Republic TV executive editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy was questioned by Mumbai Police for almost 9 hours on 21st October. He was allegedly threatened with imprisonment repeatedly for not revealing the source of the Hansa report.