In a sensational revelation, the Mumbai Police claimed to have busted a major fraud of manipulating TRP (Television Ratings Points) data by at least three TV channels and nabbed two persons, Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh said on Thursday.
The channels allegedly indulging in the fraudulent activities include Republic TV, Fakt Marathi, and Box Cinema, and the action follows a complaint registered by the Crime Branch recently.
Singh said the owners of the three channels involved in the alleged scam have been charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating for 'fixing data'.
"While 2 channels owners are arrested, the police will question the Republic TV owners/directors soon. Nobody will be spared and stringent action will be taken," Singh said.
Reacting, Sanjay Raut tweeted: “Mumbai police commissioner held a press conference just now saying interalia that Republic TV purchased TRPs असत्यमेव जयते!!!”
Shiv Sena Rajya Sahba MP Priyanka Chautrvedi
Hitting back at the Mumbai Police, Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami said it was an attempt to target the channel for its coverage of the Maharashtra government.
Threatening to slap a criminal defamation case against Singh, he accused the police chief of making "false allegations" against the Republic TV because the channel had questioned him in the investigations of the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
"Param Bir Singh's investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput case is under a cloud and this is a desperate measure because of Republic TV's reportage on Palghar, the Sushant Singh Rajput case or any other case. This kind of targeting only strengthens the resolve of everyone at Republic TV to push for the truth even harder," Goswami added.
"Param Bir Singh stands completely exposed today since BARC has not mentioned Republic in any single complaint. He should issue an official apology and get ready to face us in court," said the channel.