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Fake TRP: Republic TV writes to Mumbai police, asks it to suspend probe

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The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Shiva Sundaram of Republic TV has written to Mumbai police stating that he would join investigations in the alleged fake TRP rating scam only by October 14-15. 

The letter also asked the Mumbai police to not proceed with the probe till a writ petition in the matter is heard by the Supreme Court.

“I refer to the above summons issued by you on October 9, 2020, asking me to be present at your office on October 10, 2020, at 11 pm for your investigation in the subject First Information Report. At the outset, I would express my commitment to cooperate in the said investigations,” Sundaram says in his letter, media reports said.

The letter then requests Mumbai police to halt investigations till the hearing of the writ petition filed before the Supreme Court.

“I wish to bring to your notice that a writ petition has been filed before the Supreme Court of India concerning the matter and it is likely to be listed by next week. Given that the matter is to be listed soon before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, I request you to not proceed any further with the investigations so far as Republic TV and its employees are concerned. We will join the investigations subject to the orders of the Supreme Court,’ the letter states.

The Mumbai police summoned the CFO of Republic TV on Saturday for questioning in the Television Rating Points (TRP) rigging case.

Accountants and few other officials of television channels—Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema—have also been asked to appear before the police tomorrow. Officials from agencies handling advertisements for the three channels have also been summoned.

Meanwhile, all four accused, who have been arrested in the TRP scam, have been sent to police custody till October 13. Out of the four arrested accused, two are owners of Box Cinema TV and Fakt Marathi. 

The four persons arrested are Bompalli Rao, Vishal Bhandari, owner of Fakt Marathi Shirish Shetty and owner of Box Cinema Narayan Sharma.

This apart, two other accused in the case—Dinesh Vishwakarma and Vinay Tripathi are absconding.

Nexus between the four accused

Revealing the nexus between the four accused arrested in the case, the Mumbai police said that Narayan Sharma and Shirish Shetty paid money to Bompalli Rao for rigging TRP ratings.

Bompalli Rao used to pay around Rs 20,000 per week to Vishal Bhandari to ask people to watch Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi. Bhandari used to approach households and pay them around Rs 400-500 for watching the channels to boost TRP.

 

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