TRP Scam: Won't take any coercive action against Republic TV employees, Mumbai cops assure Bombay High Court

Narsi Benwal | Updated on: Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 10:58 PM IST


In a limited reprieve for the ARG Outlier Media Group that runs Republic TV and other associated channels, the Mumbai Police has assured the Bombay High Court that it won't take any coercive action against any of the office bearers of the group till Wednesday.

The city police has arrested several employees of the ARG group in connection with the TRP scam case.

The assurance comes after the bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Makarand Karnik took note of the arguments of senior counsel Abad Ponda, who appeared for the group.

Ponda, in his brief submissions, read out a portion of the chargesheet filed by the city police before the sessions court, which reads, "Republic TV che Maalak, Chaalak ani Sambandhit Vyakti" (The owners, operators and related persons of the channel...)

Terming this portion as "grossly illegal" the senior counsel argued that, by this, the city police might arrest any and everyone related to the media house.

Having noted the contention, Justice Shinde sought to know from chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare if the police was ready to make a statement that it won't make any arrests till Wednesday.

"Can you make such a statement? If not, then we want to know why can't you give such an assurance," Justice Shinde asked.

The judge further clarified that he has only asked for an assurance that no coercive action would be taken. "Our only concern is when you say Maalak, Chaalak, and related persons, it could even be a reporter working on the field. Thus, we seek a statement of no coercive action. But you would be free to investigate the case further. No one is stopping you from doing that," the judge clarified.

At this, Thakare told the court that the police is ready not to arrest anyone from the media house till Wednesday.

The bench is seized with a bunch of pleas filed by the group as well as Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami, seeking several reliefs against the city police in the TRP scam case. Amongst several other reliefs, the group has primarily sought the transfer of the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and also a directive to the city police not to take any coercive action against its employees.

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Published on: Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 10:58 PM IST