TRP Case: Bombay HC Grants Bail to Ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta
Dasgupta was arrested on 24 December last year and has been granted bail on a bond of Rs 6 lakh.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday, 2 March, granted bail to the former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Partho Dasgupta, in connection with the TRP case.
Dasgupta was arrested on 24 December last year. He has been granted bail on a bond of Rs 6 lakh, and has to submit his passport before the court and appear before the Crime Branch every month for a period of six months, news agency ANI reported.
His name had emerged in the purported WhatsApp conversations with Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
The Mumbai Police had earlier filed a supplementary charge sheet in the fake TRP scam case that included extensive purported chats, which were also leaked on social media. There were around 500 pages of WhatsApp conversations from Dasgupta’s phone annexed with that charge sheet, including alleged conversations with Goswami.
What Did Dasgupta’s Lawyers Say?
Dasgupta had applied for bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) on merits and on medical grounds. He had approached the High Court after he was denied by a Mumbai Sessions Court.
Dasgupta's lawyers argued that other accused in the charge sheet were granted bail or protection from coercive action. They also argued that the WhatsApp chats between Dasgupta and Goswami mentioned in the charge sheet were merely "loose talks" and could not be relied upon as evidence.
Dasgupta’s lawyers also argued that while the bail application was not just on medical grounds, his health condition could not be ignored while in judicial custody.
Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hiray opposed the bail application on behalf of the Mumbai Police. He contended that Dasgupta and Goswami shared a very close relationship, as had emerged from the WhatsApp conversations submitted through the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police.
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