The Mumbai Police on Sunday, 11 October, questioned Republic TV's CEO Vikas Khanchandani and others in connection with the alleged rigged Television Rating Points (TRPs) scam, officials said, according to IANS.
Besides Khanchandani, three other channel officials, Hansa Research Group CEO Praveen Nijhara and a staffer are also being questioned by the police, the report said.
According to IANS, in a related development, the police has found that one of the arrested persons had received a huge deposit of over Rs 1 crore into his bank account from four or five people, who are being probed.
The police have set up a special team for conducting a forensic audit into the financials of the three channels.
Summons to Republic TV CFO
Earlier, the Mumbai Police crime branch had summoned the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Republic TV, S Sundaram, in connection with the case on Saturday.
However, Sundaram 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 it 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," he said.
Mumbai Police Alleges TRPs Scam
The Mumbai Police on Thursday had addressed a press conference and said that it has busted a "TRP scam", whereby TRPs were being 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.
The police said that it has arrested owners of the two Marathi channels, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema, and said that “whoever in Republic TV” was involved in the process of rating manipulations will also be brought in for questioning.
Shirish Pattanshetty, the owner of Fakt Marathi, was arrested from Andheri, while Narayan Sharma, the owner of Box Cinema, was arrested from Malad.
Republic TV, meanwhile, issued a statement soon after Mumbai Police’s briefing, saying it would file a criminal defamation case against Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh.
(With inputs from IANS.)