A Mumbai court on Monday rejected the bail application of former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta in the TRP scam case. The former head of the Indian TV rating agency was sent to judicial custody on 30 December. In a fresh twist to the case, the Mumbai Police have indicated that they could soon summon Arnab Goswami for interrogation in the case after it emerged that the Republic TV founder had paid ‘lakhs’ to Dasgupta and other former BARC executives to manipulate the ratings.
In his bail application, Dasgupta’s lawyer had noted that he was merely an employee of the BARC and not a ‘whole and sole (authority).’
Sachin Vaze, who’s leading the investigation into the TRP scam for the Mumbai Police, said that his team had also carried out a probe on Dasgupta’s bank lockers and was also going through his bank accounts.
Meanwhile, Milind Bharambe, Joint CP Crime of the Mumbai Police, was quoted by Navbharat Times as saying that the police could soon summon Goswami for questioning in the case. Bharambe had held an extraordinary press conference last month to allege that Arnab Goswami was involved in the fake TRP scam, saying that Times Now was dislodged from the number one position by manipulation of data.
Days later, in its remand note, the Mumbai Police alleged that Goswami had paid Dasgupta and Romil Ramgarhia, former COO of BARC, to fudge TV ratings in favour of Republic TV and Republic Bharat. Goswami had allegedly made payments to Dasgupta on multiple occasions, adding that the former BARC CEO used this money to buy expensive items.
Dasgupta is the 15th person to be arrested in the TRP Scam case. Earlier, the Mumbai Police had arrested Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani in the same case. He was later granted bail by a court in Mumbai. Another senior executive of Republic TV, Ghanshyam Singh, too was arrested last month.
Arnab Goswami was earlier arrested in an abetment to suicide case. The Republic TV founder had to spend a week inside a Navi Mumbai jail.