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Partho Dasgupta, Former CEO of BARC, Mastermind of TRP Scam: Mumbai Court | India News


MUMBAI: A court of sessions in its order rejecting the bail statement of former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta has said that while it was true that 14 defendants have been released on bail, the case documents reflect that Dasgupta was the mastermind of the TRP manipulation scam, that he was “acting in his capacity as CEO to manipulate television ratings through mechanical devices”, and that he was “in contact with the owner of a television channel .
The reasoned order of the court of sessions of January 20, available now, also said: “It is clear from the documents presented before me that it is not a simple case of manipulation of the PRT, but more than that.”
The special prosecutor Shishir Hiray had presented before the session court that there was a “voluminous round of conversations between the applicant (Dasgupta) and the owner and presenter of the channel”. “Some round of serious talk” was found on Dasgupta’s mobile and to “verify” it requires authorization from the Interior Ministry, he said.
The prosecutor said Dasgupta was in collusion with the “owner of a particular television channel and the presenter manipulated TRP to obtain money” and added: “The current crime is involved in the national interest.” It said Dasgupta breached the guidelines and “was playing with an amount of Rs 32,000 crore.” The order did not name the owner of the channel or the presenter. The conversations between Dasgupta and Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami are part of the police charge sheet in the case.
The Bombay High Court, which is now hearing Dasgupta’s bail petition, has released the matter for hearing on February 9.
Sessions judge MA Bhosale in his order said that before forming an opinion regarding WhatsApp chats, a thorough investigation and Dasgupta’s face-to-face investigation is necessary as well so that he can explain “certain code words seen in the chat exchanges you had with the channel owner. ” Dasgupta would be the right person to “explain” what it means, the court order said. The session court also accepted the prosecutor’s argument that Dasgupta could alter evidence or influence witnesses if he was granted bail.
On Tuesday, Hiray asked HC Judge PD Naik for time, saying he had just been assigned the case. He said Dasgupta had also gone to the Supreme Court before. “This is just forum shopping,” he said. Appearing on behalf of the jailed former BARC executive director, lead attorney Aabad Ponda with attorney Shardul Singh cited his health and said the hearing cannot be delayed. Ponda said: “He is not dying, but his health is precarious.” He said Dasgupta, 55, needed medical attention.
This is Dasgupta’s third request for bail after two lower court rejections since his arrest last month.

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