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‘Former CEO of BARC had a direct role in the TRP scam’ | India News


MUMBAI: There is a “direct involvement” by Partho Dasgupta, former executive director of BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), in the TRP manipulation scam, Special Counsel Shishir Hiray said Tuesday while opposing the bail declaration of Dasgupta before the Bombay High Court of Judge PD Naik.
The court concluded the hearing. Dasgupta’s lawyer, Aabad Ponda, argued that “it would be a sham of justice” if the 55-year-old man, incarcerated in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai since his arrest last December, is denied bail. Ponda cited Dasgupta’s health and said that once the charge sheet is filed, which has been in the case, there is no need for him to remain in custody.
On police arguments of pending “further investigations” and the fear that he would manipulate witnesses and evidence as an “influential person”, Ponda said that further investigations may continue indefinitely, and that cannot mean that Dasgupta is deny you freedom forever. Ponda also said that there was not a single complaint from any advertiser.
Hiray cited a witness statement to argue that a former BARC employee had informed a magistrate that she had “noticed” that Dasgupta was involved in the scam so that a “channel could profit from the ads.” He cited a Times Now legal notice against BARC to support his opposition to bail.
Hiray cited the alleged WhatsApp chats between Dasgupta and Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami, where national security issues were also discussed, to “show the close relations between the two.”
He said that “at one point in (the) talks, Arnab Goswami even said that Dasgupa was his alter ego.” The prosecutor referred to a ‘recovery panchanama’ (testimony document) from December 2020, which he said mentioned that Goswami transferred money, which was “unnecessary” and could only be a “form of gratification”.
Dasgupta’s attorney, Ponda, objected to any reliance on such historical documents, saying they were “inadmissible.” Referring to the alleged conversations between Dasgupta and Goswami, Ponda said: “They cannot be considered as evidence without any corroboration.” When the judge inquired about the conversations allegedly related to the Pulwama attack, Ponda claimed that this had nothing to do with the FIR.
“That statement was allegedly made by a person who has been protected by a statement by the Mumbai police about no enforcement action before a divisional court.”

Times of India