The feud between Republic TV and the Mumbai Police has finally gathered enough steam, with an e-mail from TV ratings measurement body BARC now reportedly accessed by the media network. Republic TV maintains that the e-mail confirms their contention that Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had orchestrated "lies" to bring down the news channel as there was "never a case against the network and no malpractice or illegality found against it" in the alleged TRP ratings scam.
The BARC India has, in turn, expressed dismay at the Republic Network's 'misrepresentation' of its statement.
According to Republic TV, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) confirmed in an e-mail on October 17 that no malpractice was alleged against the Republic Media Network.
"...if there was any disciplinary action initiated against ARG Outlier Media Private Ltd, then BARC India would have communicated the same to you along with necessary documents for your response," Republic TV quoted the BARC e-mail.
This response was, in turn, triggered by a plea from Republic Media Network's CEO Vikas Khanchandani to the BARC, urging the body to "confirm in the public domain" that the "BARC and its vigilance team has found no infringement by Republic TV (ARG Outliers Media Pvt. Ltd)"
Based on this response, the news channel is now staying true to its initial contention that the entire campaign floated against Republic Media Network was "based on a lie", orchestrated by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The channel is currently running an anchor with the #RepublicExposesParambir hashtag, supposedly to hammer in evidences of the Mumbai Police Commissioner's 'false campaign' against the channel.
However, in what comes as a twist in the tale, BARC India has called out Republic's coverage "misrepresenting" its communication and said that the body has not commented on the ongoing investigation and is providing necessary assistance to the law enforcement agencies.
"BARC India is highly disappointed with the actions of the Republic Network by disclosing private and confidential communications and misrepresenting the same. BARC India reiterates that it has not commented on the ongoing investigation and without prejudice to BARC India's rights, it expresses its dismay at the actions of the Republic Network," the TV ratings measurement body said in a statement.
A day ago, Republic TV's Consulting Editor Pradeep Bhandari was questioned by Khar Police for almost five hours in connection with a case lodged against him for obstructing police officers from performing their duty. Last week, the Khar Police had issued summons to Bhandari for allegedly assembling a crowd outside Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut's house at the time of its demolition last month.
Meanwhile, BARC India on Saturday released a statement underlining the fact that the body aimed at ensuring television channels were committed to maintaining a clean and transparent ecosystem, and that BARC remains committed to its stakeholders.