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Channel Must Refrain From Parallel Trial In TRP Case, Says Mumbai State Attorney HC | India News


MUMBAI: As the hearing on a plea against the investigation of an alleged TRP scam was postponed on Wednesday to December 2, state attorney Kapil Sibal sought orders from the Bombay High Court to prevent Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV from conducting a “parallel trial” on the case inviting witnesses, until the next hearing. Goswami’s lawyer, Aabad Ponda, said orders cannot be approved without proper enforcement by the state and without listening to him.
The court agreed with Ponda, who nonetheless said that he would “sincerely convey” Sibal’s oral request to his client.
A report presented the court with the copy of the charge sheet, which Ponda said he would now challenge. Sibal said that “all Goswami affairs cannot be traced that way. What’s so special about it? You should file an amended petition and give us a few days to respond.”
Ponda said he would amend a petition filed by ARG Outlier with new grounds for challenge and notify the Maharashtra government by Friday. The state can then present its response to the HC, which thus deferred the matter.
Sibal maintained orally that until the next date, there should not be a “parallel trial and discussion on the media channel and people should not be questioned on the channel” and added that “it would be an interference” with the administration of justice. He said he could cite “any number of judgments in which the Supreme Court has disapproved of this practice.”
Sibal said the charges sheet filed Tuesday was under one of the charges and that Hansa Research Group could be recalled during investigations of two remaining issues for which a supplemental charges sheet will be filed later. The Hansa group again requested orders to limit their presence at the police station to twice a week for reasonable hours, as ensured by the pre-Diwali holidays. Devadatt Kamat’s lawyer from the police said the same process would be followed until December 2.
The petition filed by ARG also seeks a transfer of investigation to the CBI.
Ponda said that the issue of trials or parallel investigations was already the subject of several petitions filed in courts across the country, including before the court of the Chief Justice of Bombay HC.
The Hansa Investigation Group has alleged harassment by the police and also sought to be transferred to CBI.
Police alleged tampering with TRP, a rating system “used for advertising revenue,” but Republic TV and other defendants have denied any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, court sessions this week granted bail to two defendants in the TRP scam case. While Dineshkumar Vishwakarma (37) was arrested on October 20, Abhishekh Kolawde (35) had been in jail since October 25. In granting bail to both defendants, the court said: “It appears that the investigations regarding the plaintiff are almost complete. Investigation, if any, may be carried out without the custody of the applicant. It will be useless to keep the defendant behind bars. “.
Vishwakarma is accused of giving money to a person in whose house the barometer was installed. The prosecution alleged that this person was asked to watch WOW TV so that his TRP could increase. Opposing Kolawde’s bail bond, the prosecution alleged that he had given money to co-defendants, employees of Hansa Research Group Private Limited, to increase Republic TV’s TRP.

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