The Mumbai Police have arrested Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani in the Fake TRP scam days after the Supreme Court rejected Arnab Goswami’s pleas seeking protection from arrest and transfer the case to the CBI, which reports to the Centre’s BJP government. Khanchandani was arrested from his home in Mumbai before being produced before a city court.
Khanchandani has now become the 13th person to be arrested in the Fake TRP scam case. A Mumbai Court on Friday had granted anticipatory bail to another Republic TV executive Priya Mukherjee in the same case. Khanchandani’s plea was also pending before the court.
In a huge to Arnab Goswami last week, the Supreme Court judges, who faced allegations of biases, had refused to entertain his plea seeking protection from coercion by the Mumbai Police and transfer the case to the CBI. The Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee had bluntly told Goswami’s lawyer ‘this is little ambitious’ before directing him to withdraw the plea.
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.