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Bombay HC grants interim relief to Hansa Research from harassment by Mumbai police, issues notice to police on the petition filed by the company

The court assured Hansa Research that as they are the complainants in the TRP manipulation case and not an accused, nothing will happen to them

Along with the petition filed by Arnab Goswami two others in the Anvay Naik suicide case, a bench of Mumbai High Court also heard a petition filed by Hansa Research making some serious charges against Mumbai Police. The court issued a notice to Mumbai police to reply to the allegations made in the petition, and issued orders not to harass the company. The court asked the Mumbai police advocate Devdutt Kamat to take instructions from the court in this regard and come back later.

The Division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik also granted interim relief to the company, saying that police will call their officials two days every week for questioning. while not commenting on the most other pleas and allegations made by the company, which will be dealt with when the court takes the petition for hearing.

The court assured Hansa Research that as they are the complainants in the TRP manipulation case and not an accused, nothing will happen to them. The court told Mumbai police that Hansa Research is the complainant in the case, and they can’t call them daily for questioning. The court also said that the police can’t keep the officials in police station from morning to evening, and asked them to keep some fixed time till the date court takes up the petition in the next hearing.

Although Hansa Research is the complainant in the case, the police claimed that they have evidence against the company. Advocate Devdutt Kamat, who was appearing for Mumbai police, claimed that the case papers which are with the court proves that there is evidence against them.

The High Court will hear the petition filed by Hansa Research on November 25, and asked the police not to harass the company till then.

In a sensational development in the TRP manipulation case, Hansa Research, the company that runs the Bar-O-meters of BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), had moved the Bombay High Court seeking transfer of the probe into the case from Mumbai Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), saying that it was being harassed by Mumbai police to give false statement against Republic TV.

The company had said that a team of Mumbai police crime branch led by Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was threatening and intimidating the Hansa Officials, forcing them to say that the Hansa Research report shown by Republic TV, which names India Today and not Republic TV, is fake. The company has said that the they can’t say whether the document is genuine on not based on what is shown in TV, and they need the physical document. They have also said that the Republic has shown only some portions from their report, based on which the FIR was filed in the case naming India Today. But despite that the police is harassing them to declare that the document is fake, threatening and harassing petitioners with their arrest and indefinite detention and seizure of their mobile phones if they give the false statement.

It may be noted that Hansa Research had filed the case against one of its employee Vishal Bhandari, who had confessed to have received money to pay to BARC panel houses to watch India Today channel for 2 hours a day. However, in a controversial press conference by Param Bir Singh, he had said that Republic TV was named in the case, and didn’t mention the name of India Today. However, soon the original complaint of Hansa Research, and the FIR registered by Police in the case, had shown that India Today was named multiple times in the case, and Republic TV was not named.

Since then, Mumbai Police led by Param Bir Singh and Sachin Vaze have launched a series of attacks against Republic TV, trying to implicate in the case. Officials and journalists of the channel are daily summoned to the police station and questioned for hours, to know only one thing, the source of Hansa Research Repost which had exposed the lies of Param Bir Singh.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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