SC refuses to hear Republic TV plea against Mumbai police probe on TRP scam

Mumbai :The Republic TV on Thursday suffered a major setback when the Apex Court refused to entertain a plea by the news channel, challenging Mumbai Police investigation into alleged TRP scam.

Mumbai Police has registered a case in the TRP scam and summoned Republic TV’s officials for investigation. Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed that three channels including Republic TV manipulated the TRP The “racket” came to light when BARC, an organization which measures TRP, filed a complaint in this regard through Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd, the police had said. The plea in the apex court was filed by Arg Outlier Media Private Limited which owns the Republic Media network seeking quashing of the summons issued by the police.

While rejecting the petition, the top court of the country, allowed the channel to move the Bombay high court for relief. The court said it understands the channel has an office at Worli, which is close to Flora Fountain (where the Bombay High Court is located). “Better you move HC for relief,” it said. However, there was a relief for the Republic TV when the Supreme Court said, “we are concerned that commissioner of police have started giving interviews on the cases.”

The three-judge bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee said the high court has been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the media group should approach it as its office is located at Worli in Mumbai. Senior lawyer Harish Salve, appearing for Republic TV, expressed concern about the police commissioners giving interviews to media.

The top court of the country expressed its concern with the tendency of police commissioner to give interviews now a days. Republic TV has now withdrawn its plea from the top court.

While opposing the petition filed by Republic TV, the Mumbai police alleged that the channel was making attempts to thwart the police investigations in the case.

The Mumbai police submitted that the allegations contained in the impugned FIR registered by it make out any offence cannot be decided at this stage. The investigation is still progressing. There is no exceptional circumstance whatsoever warranting any interference by this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution, the Mumbai police contended.

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