Mumbai police has submitted a remand note to a magistrate court in Mumbai seeking further custody of the former CEO Partho Dasgupta and alleged that journalist Arnab Goswami bribed lakhs of rupees to the senior BARC officials to manipulate his channels’ TRP.
The police in the remand note submitted that ex-BARC CEO, Mr. Partho Dasgupta is the mastermind in the whole TRP scam of fudging the viewership numbers and data for financial gain. Mumbai police has requested further custody of Dasgupta in order to scrutinize if more such payments were made.
The police has alleged that Dasgupta has confessed that Goswami met him at least thrice in various hotels in Mumbai and made the payments of lakhs of rupees in cash.
Crime Branch of Mumbai police in the remand note also stated, “Dasgupta misused his official position and manipulated TRP of specific news channels broadcast by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, such as Republic Bharat and Republic TV. Dasgupta, while serving as CEO of BARC, got involved in the conspiracy along with Arnab Goswami and others.”
Mumbai police also mentioned that Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami paid money from time to time to Mr. Dasgupta who was handling the CEO position from June 2013 to November 2019. He allegedly used the money to buy expensive gifts that Mumbai police seized during his arrest in Raigad.
They have got Dasgupta’s custody till Wednesday.
Dasgupta is the fifteenth person to be arrested in the scam till now. Recently, ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd CEO, Vikas Khanchandani was arrested and was later released on bail. Last month, Republic TV’s Head of Distribution, Ghanshyam Singh was also arrested.
Arnab Goswami was also arrested in a separate case and later got bail. His name is also included in the charge sheet by the Mumbai police.
All the developments came after a complaint filed by Nitin Deokar, a Hansa Research official who alleged that viewership data is being manipulated. Hansa research is an agency that places metres to record viewership data in sample households. Mumbai police alleged that households were paid ₹ 400 to ₹ 500 per month to tune into certain channels.