Partho Dasgupta, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BARC India
Partho Dasgupta, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BARC India
Photo via social media

A magistrate court observed in its order while rejecting the bail application of former Broadcasting Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta on Monday, that he had played a “vital role” in the commission of the offence.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate SB Bhajipale said, in his order, that the material collected by the investigating officer “shows substantial proof” against Dasgupta and that the “material on record shows his involvement” in the alleged crime.

The material collected by the investigating officer shows that the present accused manipulated TRP for particular channels by using his office as CEO of BARC, said the court. It added that it appears that the investigation is at a crucial stage as far as further investigation is concerned. Dasgupta is the most influential person who worked as CEO of BARC and other persons are yet to be interrogated. “In such circumstances, it is the requirement of further investigation to keep the present accused away from the wanted accused and other material witnesses,” magistrate Bhajipale said.

Dasgupta, in his bail plea, had claimed parity with his former colleague at BARC -former COO Romil Ramgarhia- and stated that the latter had also been granted bail. The court said that no doubt the other accused, including Ramgarhia, are released on bail by the court, but that they have played a “different role” than the present accused in the commission of the offence. It said, thus, that the principle of parity is not applicable in the case of Dasgupta.

It said further “at this juncture, the release of the present applicant will hamper the further investigation” and in the circumstances as the investigation is in progress, it will not be proper to release him on bail.

Dasgupta had been arrested on December 24. Arguing for bail, his advocate had told the court that he is falsely implicated in the alleged and has no active role. His plea also said that the chargesheet had already been filed in the case and articles such as phone and laptop were already seized from him.

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