A Mumbai Sessions Court today reserved its verdict in the bail application filed by former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Partho Dasgupta in a case related to the Television Rating Points Scam (TRP Scam).
Dasgupta was arrested by the Mumbai Police on December 24 for his alleged involvement in the TRP Scam. He was in police custody till December 31, after which he was remanded to judicial custody for two weeks.
Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hirey concluded his submissions after referring to more chats allegedly exchanged between Dasgupta and Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. He pointed out that Goswami and Dasgupta had colluded to manipulate the TRPs of Republic TV channels.
In his rejoinder arguments, Advocate Shardul Singh, appearing for Dasgupta, informed the Court that his client’s health was fragile, and it will deteriorate further leading to a diabetic coma if he continues to stay in jail.
Singh reiterated that the highest decision-making body at BARC was the board, and that Dasgupta was not a member of that board.
Replying to Hirey’s contention that Dasgupta had violated the sanctity of the post and of the organisation, Singh submitted that assuming this argument was correct, there were no complaints alleging cheating or criminal breach of trust by the employees or even the advertisers.
Singh reiterated that other accused were granted bail, and some were even granted anticipatory bail even though the investigation was supposedly at a “nascent” stage, and none of those orders were challenged.
Dasgupta approached the Sessions Court after Chief Metropolitan Magistrate rejected his bail application, stating that he played a vital role in the TRP scam.
Dasgupta had refuted the allegations of the Mumbai Police that he had misused his position as CEO to manipulate TRPs and submitted that he had no control over the data as it was collected and provided by the Hansa Research Company.
Hirey opposed the application stating that Dasgupta had misused his position as CEO of BARC for personal gain. He added that Dasgupta’s conduct amounted to “tainting the sanctity of the post he held”.
He had opposed the bail application, stating that even if the chargesheet may have been filed in the case, the investigation was yet to be complete.
After hearing the parties, the Court has reserved its verdict, which is likely to be pronounced tomorrow.