CBI takes over TRP scam probe over complaint in UPLast updated on Oct 21, 2020, 12:51 am
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday took over the probe into the alleged manipulation of TRPs (Television Rating Points) by three news channels, including Republic TV.
The case came to the fore after the Mumbai Police launched an investigation.
The CBI probe in connection with the case is based on a complaint filed in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, earlier in the day.
CBI took over case filed in Lucknow against unidentified persons
Earlier on Tuesday, a complaint was registered in Lucknow's Hazratganj police station by one Kamal Sharma under charges including the manipulation of TRPs using forged means.
An FIR had been filed against unidentified persons.
The Yogi Adityanath-led government had recommended a CBI probe on Sharma's complaint, following which, the case was transferred to the central agency.
Republic TV, Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema allegedly fudged ratings
The Broadcast Audience Research Council has alleged that TV ratings were being fudged by Republic TV, Fakt Marathi, and Box Cinema.
Viewers have testified that they were paid to keep the channels on, even when they were not watching.
A complaint had been filed by Hansa Research—a company appointed by BARC—which installs "people meters" to track viewership.
Six people have been arrested so far.
Scam emerged during probe into manipulation of news trends: Police
Earlier this month, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that the scam had emerged during a larger analysis of manipulation of news trends. The police investigated how a "false narrative" was being propagated, particularly over the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Republic TV denies allegations
Republic TV has denied the allegations, accusing the Mumbai Police of a vendetta over its reportage on Rajput's death.
On October 15, the Supreme Court had refused to hear a plea of a senior Republic TV official challenging the summons issued by Mumbai Police. The channel had then moved the Bombay High Court.
Notably, the channel had also earlier called for a CBI probe.