The Chief Financial Officer of India Today group Dinesh Bhatia is again summoned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 18 in connection with the TRP case. Bhatia was summoned on January 8 by ED, as reported exclusive by OpIndia.
He had appeared before ED on January 11 for questioning in connection with the alleged Television Rating Points (TRO) manipulation case. He was questioned for over nine hours on Monday by ED.
As per the reports, ED officials were not satisfied with the response given by Bhatia. The agency has asked him to bring some documents in the next appearance. ED has also asked the India Today group to explain some conversations with BARC officials. According to sources, these conversations could pertain to how India Today and AajTak had to kept high, in terms of TRPs.
The group’s name had appeared in the initial FIR registered by the Hansa Research in the case.
TRP case so far: India Today named in FIR, Republic blamed instead
On October 8, 2020, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had alleged that they have unearthed TRP manipulation and named Republic TV as one of the main accused. However, in the initial FIR, Republic TV was nowhere mentioned in it instead it had named India Today group as one of the main accused. Since the case has come to light, several allegations were made against the Republic TV network’s employees and the case has turned into an alleged witch-hunt against the channel by Maharashtra’s government.
So far police have arrested several people in the including owners of Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema channels, distribution head of Republic TV and several former relationship managers of Hansa Research Group. In the FIR, it was alleged that these channels had paid Rs.400-500 monthly to households for watching particular channels.