In a setback to Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami, a Mumbai court on Sunday rejected the bail plea of his CEO Vikas Khanchandani and sent him to two days of police custody. Khanchandani was arrested from his house on Sunday in the TRP scam case. The development had prompted Goswami to appear on his TV channel to make a desperate appeal for help from Indians.
SB Bhajipale, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Esplanade in Mumbai, according to the Bar and Bench, remanded Khanchandani to police custody till 15 December. The police told the court that Republic TV owned by Goswami had paid Rs 15 lakh every month to boost the TRP for Republic TV and Republic Bharat. Goswami has denied allegations of resorting to fraud to boost the TRP for his TV channels.
Khanchandani became the 13th person to be arrested in the TRP scam case. A Mumbai Court on Friday had granted anticipatory bail to another Republic TV executive Priya Mukherjee in the same case.
In October, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had sensationally revealed said that his force had busted a scam to manipulate TRPs by some TV channels including Republic TV. Singh had said that bank accounts of the three TV channels including that of Republic TV will come under scrutiny and seized if the allegations of fraud are established.
Singh had told reporters in an extraordinary press conference, “As I said, owners of two channels, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema, have been arrested. Now our investigation shows that there are chances of people working at Republic TV, the channel’s directors and promoters involved (in the TRP racket). The future investigation is being carried out against Republic TV employees, directors and its directors.”
Goswami had threatened to sue Singh seeking damages worth Rs. 200 crore.
Goswami on Sunday a butt of jokes after his attempts to speak in Marathi backfired spectacularly.