The Republic Media Network has said it would file a defamation suit against the Mumbai Police Commissioner for accusing it of manipulating TRPs.
Earlier today, the Mumbai Police Commissioner, in an unusual press conference, had said that the Mumbai police had been alerted about a new racket involving false television rating points (TRP). He said that three channels, including Republic TV and two other Marathi channels- Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema, have been reportedly involved in distorting the apparatus used by BARC to rate television channels. The commissioner said that arrests have also been made in this regard.
Republic TV’s bank accounts are reportedly under the scanner and the Mumbai police will soon be summoning Republic TV’s promoters and directors, including Arnab Goswami, for questioning in regards to this case.
But Arnab Goswami has now said he would sue Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh for defamation. “Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh has made false allegations against Republic TV because we have questioned him in the Sushant Singh Rajput case investigation. Republic TV will file a criminal defamation case against Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh. There is not a single BARC report that mentions Republic TV,” Arnab Goswami said in a statement.
Arnab further alleged that it was being targeted by the Mumbai Police because Republic’s coverage has criticized its handling of the Palghar Sadhu lynching case and the Sushant Singh Rajput case. “Mr. Param Bir Singh’s investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput case is under a cloud and this is a desperate measure because of Republic TV’s reportage on Palghar, the Sushant Singh Rajput case or any other case. This kind of targeting only strengthens the resolve of everyone at Republic TV to push for the truth even harder. Param Bir Singh stands completely exposed today, since BARC has not mentioned Republic in any single complaint. He should issue an official apology and get ready to face us in court,” Arnab alleged.
BARC, the body that releases the TRP numbers each month, has said that it “remains steadfastly true to its purpose to accurately and faithfully report what India watches.”
Over the last few months, Republic TV and the Mumbai Police have locked horns on multiple occasions. After Arnab Goswami was attacked by Congress workers, he had been summoned for questioning for the Mumbai Police, and had been interrogated for over 10 hours. Republic TV’s CFO had also been similarly interrogated. And with Republic now saying it’ll file a criminal defamation case against the Mumbai Police Commissioner, the battle might’ve just gotten personal.