‘Key Accused’ Arrested from Uttar Pradesh in TRP ‘Scam’

Vinay Tripathi, a former employee of the Hansa Research Group, was arrested in connection with the TRP scam.

Published
India
2 min read
The alleged “TRP scam” revealed by the Mumbai Police has sparked a debate regarding the media industry in India.
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Vinay Tripathi, a former employee of the Hansa Research Group, was arrested on Monday, 12 October, by the Mumbai police's crime branch in connection with the television rating points (TRPs) scam.

A crime branch team that had gone to Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh looking for Tripathi, who had worked with Hansa for four years as a relationship manager. Hansa is the agency that measures Television Rating Points (TRP) of various channels for Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which determines advertisement revenues for TV channels.

This is the fifth arrest made in the case. Mumbai police believe that Tripathi had allegedly paid 21-year-old Vishal Bhandari for fudging TRPs.

“Tripathi was a relationship manager in Hansa and left two years ago. He was in touch with Bhandari and used to pay money to Bhandari to distribute in households where barometers were installed. He is part of the TRP fraud and was in contact with some owners of channels or their employees,” said Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, reported IANS.

Mumbai police believe questioning Tiwari will help clarify which channels were involved in rigging TRPs, The Indian Express reported.

The police also seized four bank accounts related to Fakt Marathi and Box Cinemas — two of the three channels named by the Mumbai Police as allegedly rigging TRPs.

The Mumbai Police has roped in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to study these account details and to also look into any possibility of money laundering, the report stated.

Manipulation of TRPs – television ratings points – has for long been alleged in the industry, but now there is an ongoing criminal investigation into it, involving the accused with connections to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).

The Mumbai Police has alleged that Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV was among those who had “indulged in such malpractices.”

Vishal Bhandari, former employee of Hansa, Bompalli Rao alias Sanjiv Rao, Shirish Shetty, owner of Fakt Maratha and Narayan Sharma of Box Cinema have been arrested so far.

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