Widening the scope of investigation in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) rigging case, the city crime branch on Thursday arrested the former COO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).
As per the crime branch sources, former COO Romil Ramgarhia was arrested around 1 pm on Thursday. He is the 14th person to be arrested in the case so far.
For over two months the crime branch has been investigating the case and formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to prove the case. So far they have arrested two officer bearers of Republic TV including it's CEO Vikas Khanchandani and distribution head Ghanshyam Singh, few owners of television channels and former relationship managers of Hansa Research Group, a market research company hired by BARC to maintain and fetch viewership data from bar-o-meters installed at homes.
In the second week of October, Mumbai Police unearthed the TRP rigging case and claimed several channels indulged in TRP manipulations and named Republic TV, along with Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema and other news channels as indulging in alleged manipulations.
In the alleged malpractice, the relationship managers were paid to rig the TRPs, manipulate the sampling metering services by inducing bar-o-meter households to watch particular TV channels and pay them periodically. Households were paid Rs 400-500 monthly, to watch a particular channel. There are 2,000 bar-o-meters installed in Mumbai to monitor TRPs.