Twist in the tale: CBI enquiry in the TRP Scam

The case was transferred to CBI by the DOPT after the Uttar Pradesh State Government sent a request to the Centre.

In an interesting twist in the turn of events in the TRP scam case, three days after UP Police lodged an FIR in Lucknow accusing “certain channels and broadcasting companies of entering into a “criminal conspiracy” to manipulate TRPs, CBI has taken over the investigation. The case was transferred to CBI by the DOPT after the UP State Government sent a request to the Centre.

The TRP Scam case is the recent standoff between the coalition government in Maharashtra and other BJP led states after the Sushant Singh Rajput case. But as the TRP scam is not only limited to Maharashtra a central agency is best suited for investigating the matter.

The Mumbai police on Tuesday arrested two more persons taking the tally of arrested persons to 8 in its investigation of the TRP rigging case against the Republic TV Network.

Republic TV had filed the case before the Supreme Court alleging that the proceedings were biased in nature and the FIR registered by Mumbai Police should be quashed. The Supreme Court asked the media house to move to the Bombay High Court and the matter is under trial at the Bombay High Court.

Meanwhile, Republic TV has also filed a defamation case worth Rs 200 crore against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Republic TV took this decision after both Mumbai Police and Maharashtra Government submitted their declaration in the court that there was no mention of Republic TV in the BARC FIR.

Eventually, it was India Today that was mentioned in the FIR by the BARC officials. But Mumbai Police Commissioner, during his press conference, had conveniently twisted the narrative.

Republic TV owner and Editor-in-chief Mr. Arnab Goswami had also made the prayer in his petition before the Bombay High Court that the case should be transferred to CBI from Mumbai Police on the grounds of fair probe and transparency.

The FIR registered with the UP Police has also asked to investigate the role of BARC, the industry body that publishes the TRPs. On the other hand, BARC is “highly disappointed” by the Republic Media Network giving themselves a clean chit on the basis of private email communication between them.

Only time will tell now that who’s plotting against whom and who the real culprit is.

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Pragya Mishra

Senior columnist with interest in economy and government policies.

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