The Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the city crime branch investigating the Television Rating Points (TRP) scam has seized jewellery worth Rs 48 lakh from the bank locker of former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta, who was earlier arrested in the case. The police claimed that the said jewellery had been procured from the money he had received for TRP manipulations.
In Wednesday's remand application, Mumbai police reiterated that Dasgupta allegedly received kickbacks in lakhs from Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for helping his channel gain top ranking. Police checked a joint bank locker belonging to him and his wife after Dasgupta, in his voluntary statement to the police, said he had kept the said jewellery in the locker. According to the police, they have seized gold and silver jewellery weighing around 1.3 kg worth Rs 48 lakh from the locker.
On Wednesday, Dasgupta was produced before the court and remanded to judicial custody. As soon as he was remanded to judicial custody, Dasgupta, through his advocate Kamlesh Ghumre, filed a bail application, which is likely to be heard on Friday. Advocate Ghumre said the bail plea has been filed on the grounds that the offences of cheating and criminal breach of trust are not attracted in the case. “For cheating, there should be an intention to cheat since inception and wrongful loss as well as gain. But there has been no such wrongful loss,” said Ghumre.
Dasgupta, during his stint as BARC CEO, allegedly helped Republic TV to gain top ranking between 2017 and 2019, for which he allegedly manipulated the TRP of other channels by various methods. The CIU has, so far, arrested 15 people in the case, including CFO Romil Ramgarhia of BARC, top officials of Republic Media Network, the owners of few channels and several former relationship managers of Hansa Research Group, which had been tasked by BARC to measure TRP from households.