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TRP case: Ex-CEO of BARC directly involved; rigged the whole system, said a higher court | India News

MUMBAI: Former Executive Director of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Partho Dasgupta, manipulated “the whole” TRP system for news channels and also discussed national security issues with “certain owner and news anchor” on WhatsApp, said Mumbai Police to Bombay High Court. Monday.
Special counsel Shishir Hiray told a single-judge court chaired by Judge PD Naik that Dasgupta was directly involved in manipulating the television rating points (PRT) with the help of other accused persons.
Hiray, who opposed Dasgupta’s bail declaration at the HC, said that the Mumbai criminal branch of police had accessed, among other things, Dasgupta’s WhatsApp chats with a “certain owner and presenter of a television channel “, where he spoke about the manipulation of the PRT.
Hiray said the two also discussed issues related to national security.
“They tried to manipulate the entire PRT system. There are talks about the security of the nation,” Hiray said.
The alleged conversations between Dasgupta and Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, who is also indicted in the TRP scam case, about the 2019 Pulwama attack are part of the charge sheet filed by the police in the case. .
Judge Naik asked if any crime had been recorded regarding the WhatsApp chat about the Pulwama attack, to which Hiray responded negatively.
Dasgupta’s attorney, lead attorney Abad Ponda, told the HC that the WhatsApp chats were simply “loose conversations.”
“Regarding WhatsApp chats, I will just say that they are loose conversations. Those are not admissible and they need evidence to corroborate them,” said Ponda.
It said that Dasgupta’s co-defendants in the case were out on bail and that the Maharashtra government had made a statement to the HC earlier this month saying it will not take any enforcement action against Arnab Goswami or any other ARG employee. Outlier media, which runs the Republic television channels.
“I’m not saying arrest them. But then the whole group under Republic TV is protected and I’m behind bars,” Ponda told the HC on behalf of Dasgupta.
He also said that the charge sheet had already been filed in the case and that Dasgupta’s custody questioning was no longer necessary, and therefore, he was granted bail.
Opposing the bail statement, Hiray said the statement made by Maharashtra government attorney Kapil Sibal on the protection of ARG employees was made with “reluctance”.
Hiray said the TRP scam happened on three levels.
“The measurement barometers were installed by BARC and Hansa. Viewers charged monthly to watch their channels. The inevitable conclusion is that the information was leaked from BARC,” he said.
Judge Naik then asked if Dasgupta was the one who had leaked the information, to which Hiray said appeared to be “the foregone conclusion.”
“There is a total involvement (of Dasgupta). For a few crooks he (Dasgupta) allowed the PRTs to be manipulated,” he said.
Hiray further said that the other defendants who were granted bail in the case were not as “powerful” as Dasgupta.
The HC will continue to hear the arguments on Tuesday.

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