Sources within the Enforcement Directorate have confirmed that India Today will be the first channel to be summoned for questioning in its investigation into the TRP case. India Today was named in the initial FIR that was registered by the Mumbai Police on the basis of the complaint that was filed in the matter.
The ED will first record the statement of the complainant and following that, the executives of India Today will be called in for questioning. india Today is expected to be summoned this week. The complainant in the matter is Hansa Research.
ED registers ECIR in TRP case
The Enforcement Directorate had earlier registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the equivalent of FIRs filed by the Police, in the TRP case. The ED will investigate money laundering allegations and all channels mentioned in the original FIR will be probed. As per Republic TV, the Mumbai Police probe could also be under scrutiny. Republic TV has also cited sources to claim that the ED will merge all TRP related cases under the ED in Mumbai. The ED is the second central agency to come into the matter after the CBI. The CBI had earlier registered an FIR over the matter.
The TRP Case
On 8th October, Param Bir Singh, Mumbai Police Commissioner, said in a press conference that several channels have indulged in malicious practices to increase their TRP ratings. He alleged that Republic TV is one of the main accused. The complaint was filed by the Hansa group that regulated the devices to record TRP for BARC.
However, the initial FIR did not name Republic TV but named India Today network as one of the main suspects. During the investigation, several evidence and witnesses came forward that alleged Mumbai Police have been intimidating them to speak against Republic TV, including Hansa officials. Hansa has also complained that they are being harassed by the Mumbai Police to give statements against Republic TV.