Updated: October 26, 2020 1:56:43 am
The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has asked the government to withdraw the case of alleged TRP manipulation that has been referred to the CBI.
In a statement Saturday, the NBA said, “The speed with which the case was transferred to CBI overnight raises doubts about the intentions. A complaint filed against unknown persons by an individual who has no locus standi may lead to a witch-hunt against the media, its advertisers and advertising agencies. We sincerely urge the government to immediately withdraw the case referred to CBI,” the statement said.
The NBA said the Broadcast Audience Research Council, which measures and publishes TRP, “has a mechanism to deal with such cases”. The statement comes against the backdrop of the government transferring the case to the CBI after an FIR was filed in Hazratganj based on the complaint by an employee of an ad agency based in Delhi. Based on a reference by the UP government, the CBI filed an FIR against unidentified people Tuesday.
Since then, Maharashtra government has withdrawn its “general consent” to the CBI to investigate cases in the state. Mumbai Police has been investigating the TRP case; its commissioner Param Bir Singh mentioned earlier this month that Republic TV was one of the three channels involved in the alleged manipulation. Now, five channels are under probe.
On Friday, Mumbai Police booked Republic Media Network’s executive editor, an anchor, two reporters and other editorial staff for broadcasting alleged defamatory news content against the police department.
The NBA statement said it is “very disturbed at the turn of events in Mumbai as the clash between Republic TV and Mumbai police is posing a threat to the credibility and respect of two great institutions, media and police”.
Media agency owner arrested
Mumbai: Mumbai Police on Sunday made another arrest in the TRP scam, taking the total number of arrests in the case to 10. The latest person to be arrested is Abhishek Kolavde, owner of a small media agency. An officer said, “During the auditing of accounts of some of the accused we have arrested as yet, we found some suspicious transactions to their account from Kolavde. We wanted to interrogate him about the same.” —ENS
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines