A day after the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Republic TV was summoned in connection with the rigged TRPs case, he wrote to the Mumbai Police saying that a writ petition has been filed before the Supreme Court regarding the summons, and requested them to not proceed with the investigation till this was heard.
"We will join the investigations subject to the orders of the Supreme Court. I would also like to inform 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," S Sundaram, Republic TV's CFO wrote on Saturday, 10 October.
Sundaram had been summoned by the police at 11 am on Saturday.
The statement says that this petition “is likely to be listed by next week,” and that requests for an early hearing have also been made.
On these grounds, Sundaram also requested the police to “not proceed any further with the investigation in so far as Republic TV and its employees are concerned.”
Why Was The CFO Summoned?
The Mumbai Police on Thursday had addressed a press conference and said that it has busted a "TRP scam", whereby Television Rating Points (TRPs) were being manipulated. In the briefing, the Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh said that ratings by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), an organisation under the Ministry of Information and Broadcast (I&B), which measures television ratings in India, has been manipulated.
The police named Republic TV and two other Marathi channels who, it said, were involved in the practice. Four people have been arrested in connection with the matter.
While Republic TV was not named in the FIR, the first accused in the case, Vishal Bhandari, an ex-employee for Hansa agency, admitted to paying bribes to people to watch certain channels, including Republic TV, according to the police.
The police had summoned the CFO since they believe he is "acquainted with certain facts and circumstances of the matter.”
The channel has denied the allegations.
As the case proceeds, if any implicating evidence is found against the channel, its name could be mentioned in the subsequent charge sheet.