The Mumbai Police’s crime branch filed a charge sheet in the fake TRP case before a magistrate court on Tuesday, 24 November. The first charge sheet has allegedly cited approximately 140 persons as witnesses.
The witnesses include forensic experts, forensic auditors, advertisers and households among others.
Twelve people have been arrested by the Mumbai Police in connection with the case so far, including the distribution head of Republic TV, Ghanshyam Singh. All the accused have been booked under Sections 409, 465, 468, 406, 120B, 201, 204, 212 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Sources in the Mumbai Police revealed that two accused in the case have turned approvers and have recorded their statements before the magistrate under Section 164 CrPC (Recording of confessions and statements).
The case came to light on 8 October when the Mumbai Police revealed that it had busted a TRP fraud, wherein ratings measured by the BARC had been manipulated by multiple channels. The police had said that an organisation named Hansa Research Group Private Limited, which the BARC had entrusted with confidential data related to ratings, had misused the data.
Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV has been implicated in the case along with channels like Box Cinema, Fakt Marathi, News Nation, Maha Movies among others.
So far, Republic TV's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), two Chief Operating Officers (COO) and its Chief Finance Officer (CFO) have been summoned by the police for questioning in the case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday, 20 November, registered a case of money laundering under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the TRP scam case. The ED registered the FIR after receiving information from the Mumbai Police of there being a possibility of money laundering angle.