TRP scam: Accused Ashish Choudhary agrees to turn approver

Another accused in the alleged TRP manipulation racket has agreed to turn approver, said the Mumbai Crime Branch before the court on Monday. The accused identified as Ashish Choudhary, 50, who runs Crystal Broadcast, a cable distribution company, is willing to become approver. Earlier, accused Umesh Mishra had expressed his wish to turn approver.

Mumbai Crime Branch, on Monday, produced both Choudhary and Abhishek Kolwade, 35, in the court. In its remand application, the crime branch has said that Choudhary is cooperating with the investigation and, through his lawyer, has expressed his desire to turn approver. The crime branch requested the court to issue necessary orders, reads the remand copy.

Following the hearing, Choudhary was sent to judicial custody. Kolwade’s police custody has been extended. The Crime Branch has, so far, arrested 11 persons in the case.

“During the custodial interrogation of Kolwade, it was revealed that Choudhary was allegedly paying money to Kolwade for rigging the TRPs of Wow Music and Republic Bharat from the year 2017 to July this year,” police claimed in their remand application.

The Monday’s remand application further claimed that Kolwade said that he accepted Rs 15 lakh per month from January to July for rigging the TRP of Republic TV at Choudhary’s office. Kolwade also received money from hawala transactions, which he would then distribute to relationship managers to pass on to households where the barometers were installed to measure TRP.

The Mumbai crime branch investigating the alleged TRP manipulations racket has so far registered around 50 statements in connection with the case.

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