Republic TV asks Mumbai police to suspend probe in fake TRP case, cites petition...

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Republic TV’s chief financial officer (CFO) Shiva Sundaram has written to Mumbai police stating he would be available to join investigations in the alleged fake TRP ratings scam only by October 14-15 and has asked the Mumbai police to not proceed with the probe till a writ petition in the matter is heard by the Supreme Court.

“I refer to the above summons issued by you on October 9, 2020 asking me to be present at your office on October 10, 2020 at 11pm for the purpose of your investigation in the subject First Information Report. At the outset, I would express my commitment to cooperate in the said investigations,” Sundaram says in his letter.

The letter then goes on to request Mumbai police to halt investigations till the hearing of the writ petition filed before the Supreme Court.

“I wish to bring to your notice that a Writ petition under Article 32 has been filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (Provisional application number 7848/2020) in relation to the above referred matter and we have requested for an early hearing and it is likely to be listed by next week. Given that the matter is to be listed soon before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, I request you to not proceed any further with the investigations in so far as Republic TV and its employees are concerned. We will join the investigations subject to the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.’

Also Read: TRP manipulation case: What has happened so far

The letter ends by stating, “I would also like to inform you that on account of some personal commitments I am scheduled to travel outside Mumbai for the next few days and accordingly will only be available in Mumbai by 14-15 October, 2020.”

Joint commissioner of police (crime branch) Milind Bharambe confirmed receiving the letter. “CFO of Republic TV, S Sundaram, gave a letter to the police to reschedule the summons which was issued to him on October 9 to join the investigation,” Bharambe said.

Meanwhile, Sam Balsara, founder, chairman and managing director of Madison World, reached Mumbai police headquarters to aid the investigations.

The alleged fake TRP case was registered after Mumbai police claimed to have busted a TRP manipulation racket following a complaint by TV viewership measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). The police said Republic TV and two other local Mumbai channels were involved in manipulating the crucial data which indicates which TV programmes are viewed the most and is often used by advertisers for decisions related to ad spend.

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