The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police today arrested Republic TV executive Ghanshyam Singh in connection with the alleged TRP manipulation case. Singh, an Assistant VP at Republic TV, is the 12th person arrested in the case.
As per reports, Singh was presented in the Qila court by Crime branch officials with his head covered in a black cloth. The court has granted the police 3-day custody of Singh.
#BREAKING on #IndiaWithArnab | Republic's AVP Ghanshyam Singh remanded to 3-days police custody after being produced in court with his face covered in a black cloth post arrest by crime branch this morning in continued persecution of the Network pic.twitter.com/gtOL1onmxy— Republic (@republic) November 10, 2020
According to the remand order accessed by OpIndia, Singh has been arrested primarily on the basis of the statements given by the accused arrested in the case.
The remand order mentions Ashish Abidur Chaudhary claiming that the Republic TV Assistant VP Ghanshyam Singh reportedly paid Rs 2 lakhs to another accused Abhishek Kolavade to manipulate the TRPs of Republic TV and Republic Bharat. Kolavade was arrested earlier for allegedly bribing people to increase the TRPs of many channels, including Republic TV.
Singh arrested on the basis of allegations by one accused
The remand notice also cites the testimony of accused Abhishek Kolavade, who has allegedly claimed in his statement that Ghanshyam Singh had paid him a lump-sum amount of Rs 15 lakhs to increase the TRPs of Republic TV channels for the period of January 2020- July 2020.
The police have alleged that the arrest has been made to investigate the assertions made by the accused in their statements. The police is now probing if Singh had made any such payments to jack up the TRPs of the Republic TV channels and if it were indeed made, the source and trail of the funding.
Furthermore, the police claims it also wants to investigate if Singh, who oversees the Distribution of Republic TV channels, had contacted Multi System Operators(MSOs) and Direct to Home(DTH) service providers to bribe them into increasing the TRPs of the Republic TV and Republic Bharat.
Besides, the remand order says the police will also investigate if Singh had other accomplices aiding him and if he had paid money to other individuals like Abhishek Kolavade to drive up the TRPs.
Earlier today, Singh was led to the Qila court by the Mumbai Police officials with his head covered in black cloth. He was arrested earlier in the morning in connection with the TRP manipulation case.
Republic TV alleges it has been a victim of a witch hunt by Mumbai Police
Republic TV has alleged that it has been falsely implicated in the TRP manipulation case. A few days back, Hansa Research issued a statement corroborating the assertions made by Republic TV. Hansa Research had then claimed that they were coerced by the Mumbai Police to issue false statements against Republic TV in the TRP manipulation case. The company which operates the Bar-O-Meters of BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), has moved the Bombay High Court seeking transfer of the probe into the case from Mumbai Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In the petition filed with Bombay High Court, Hansa Research has alleged that the Police have been adopting pressure tactics to coerce its employees to issue a statement that a document published as Hansa Report by Republic TV is a fake document.
The report by Hansa Research based on which the FIR in the TRP case was registered, names India Today as the channel which had bribed households with the bar-o-meters to watch the channel, and it does not name Republic TV as alleged by Mumbai police. The initial FIR by Mumbai Police had also named India Today and not Republic TV.