The witch hunt against Republic Media Network and the Editor-in-chief of Republic TV continues unabated as the members of the crime branch of Mumbai Police reportedly travelled to Delhi to arrest Arnab Goswami in the alleged TRP scam case.
The revelation was made by the Republic TV’s advocate Abad Ponda during the hearing in the Bombay High Court regarding the plea filed by ARG Outlier challenging the FIR filed in the TRP scam case that implicates the channel.
“I am making a solemn statement that the Maharashtra Police has reached Delhi to arrest Arnab Goswami. I have received a message at 2:30 PM. It is there on my phone,” Ponda said.
Ponda: Milords I am making a solemn statement that the Maharashtra Police has reached Delhi to arrest them. I bave received a message at 2.30 pm. It is there on my phone.— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) December 15, 2020
The revelation was made by lawyer Abad Ponda during the arguments in the plea filed by ARG Outlier parent company of Republic TV challenging the FIR filed in the TRP scam case implicating the channel.
When the Bench took up the matter, Sr. Adv Aabad Ponda appearing for ARG argued that he seeks to make submissions for urgent reliefs. Saying that the Mumbai Police was in Delhi to arrest Arnab Goswami yet again, Mr Ponda asked for relief till tomorrow. However, the Chief Public Prosecutor had stated that no coercive steps will be taken against persons referred to in the chargesheet filed by Mumbai Police in the TRP case till tomorrow.
Republic CEO Vikas Khanchandani arrested in fake TRP case sent to 14-days custody
Even as Delhi Police reportedly reached the national capital to arrest Arnab Goswami, a magistrate court in Mumbai on Tuesday sent Republic TV Chief Executive Officer Vikas Khanchandani to judicial custody for 14 days in connection with the probe into the alleged TRP manipulation scam, reported Bar and Bench.
Earlier on Sunday, Republic CEO Vikas Khanchandani was arrested by the Mumbai Police after the police officials barged into his residence in an early morning raid, just a day ahead of the anticipatory bail hearing. The police defended his arrest, alleging that Khanchandani’s alleged role in the scam came to light during the interrogation of the channel’s distribution head, Ghanshyam Singh. Singh was arrested by the Mumbai Police last month.
The arrest of Khanchandani came just a month after the Mumbai Police had arrested and assaulted Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami in another 2018 suicide case. He was produced before Alibaug court on the same day and sent to judicial custody. The Republic TV Editor-in-chief was in jail for 8 days and was released from the Taloja Jail after the Supreme Court granted him bail on November 11.
Slamming the Maharashtra Police, the Supreme Court stated that they had failed to establish charges against Republic TV chief in the suicide case. The apex court said that there was prima facie no nexus between the FIR filed failed against Arnab Goswami and Section 306 (Abetment to Suicide) under IPC.
The so-called TRP scam allegations against Republic TV
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. Despite glaring inconsistencies and contradictions, the Mumbai Police have doggedly pursued Republic TV in connection with the fake TRP case.
Republic TV has been facing the ire of the Maharashtra government after they started questioning the political powers in the state for their inaction in Palghar lynching case and Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide case. The Maharashtra Assembly even tried to bring a privilege motion against the channel and Goswami. Supreme Court had to intervene to put a stop to it.