In a remand report submitted before the court, the Mumbai Police said that the Republic TV editor- in- chief Arnab Goswami had paid lakhs of rupees to Partho Dasgupta, the former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), for increasing the TRP (television rating points) of the two Republic Channels on Monday, December 28.
According to The Indian Express, the police told the metropolitan magistrate’s court, “...When Dasgupta was the Broadcast Audience Research Council, or BARC, CEO, Arnab Goswami and other accused in the case conspired to illegally increase the TRPs of Republic Bharat Hindi news channel and Republic TV English news channel. In order to do that, Goswami on several occasions paid Dasgupta lakhs of rupees, it has been established in the investigation.”
This allegation comes after the arrest of Dasgupta who was taken into custody as part of their investigation of the fake Television Rating Point Scam on December 25.
This is the first time that the police have spelt out Goswami’s alleged role in the TRP case. Goswami was not available for comment on Monday. While the remand report mentions “Republic owners” in the list of accused, it does not name Goswami specifically. During the investigation it was established that Goswami had “made payments worth lakhs in cash, including once in US dollars,” said Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to The Indian Express. Dasgupta had allegedly used this money to procure jewellery and other expensive articles which were seized from his residence earlier this month.
This is the 15th arrest in the TRP scam probe and comes barely a week after the arrest of BARC farmer COO, Romil Ramgarhia. They had previously arrested Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani on 13 December, who was sent to custody till 15 December, and granted bail on 16 December.