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Mumbai Police file charge sheet in fake TRP scam

Mumbai: On Tuesday, the Mumbai Police filed a charge sheet in a court in the alleged TRP (Television Rating Points) rigging scam.

The charge sheet was submitted before a magistrate’s court by the police’s Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), which conducts a probe into the case, an official said.

The crime branch has so far arrested 12 people, including Republic TV’s distribution head and owners of two other channels, in connection with the case, he said.

The fake TRP scam came to light last month when rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh last month claimed that Republic TV and two Marathi channels, Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi, were manipulating TRPs.

Republic TV and other accused have denied wrongdoing and manipulation of the TRP system.

Earlier, Republic TV’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and two Chief Operating Officers (COO) and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) were summoned by the police for questioning in the fake TRP racket case.

The police also recorded Republic TV’s Executive Editor Niranjan Narayanswamy and Senior Executive Editor Abhishek Kapoor.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently filed a money laundering complaint in the alleged TRP rigging scam being investigated by the Mumbai Police.

The central probe agency has filed an enforcement case information report (ECIR) equivalent to a police FIR under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, official sources said last week.

The ED complaint was filed after studying a Mumbai Police FIR that was registered in October. It had named the Republic TV channel, two Marathi channels, and few other individuals.

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