Updated: March 7, 2021 10:49:55 pm
Mumbai Police recently submitted an affidavit in reply to the rejoinder filed by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, which runs Republic TV, and other channels in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation case and said that the petitioner is trying to play “victim” and attempting to transfer the probe to the CBI while it is not named an accused before the trial court.
The police objected to Republic TV’s demand seeking transfer of probe even before any conclusive proofs against them have been exposed and said that the same should be discouraged. They sought dismissal of Republic TV’s petition and said that line-by-line explanation of the probe as sought by the petitioners is not possible.
In January, Mumbai Police had claimed that ARG Outlier Media Pvt Limited and Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami were carrying out “vendetta” against the police force through their TV channels and that Goswami is “directly interfering and intimidating witnesses by issuing news releases”.
Through affidavits filed before a division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale, which is hearing a plea by ARG seeking quashing of the FIR, proceedings and chargesheet in the TRP case, the police had denied allegations of “falsely implicating” employees of the petitioner.
Mumbai Police, through Shashank Sandbhor, Assistant Commissioner of Police, CID, Crime Branch, on March 3 filed the affidavit in reply to the rejoinder filed by ARG Outlier.
The police stated, “In the present case, the petitioners, who are not presently accused before trial court, have placed material that is neither unimpeachable in nature, nor is part of record before the trial court. Investigating agencies cannot be called upon to place line-by-line denials, that too in a case where investigation is admittedly ongoing.”
The police said that the petitioner company is trying to obfuscate the proceedings in the FIR by invoking and tagging outcomes of proceedings in other FIRs (abetment to suicide case of Raigad, Bandra migrants gathering case) which are yet to achieve finality.
“These are independent offences and should not be seen from the prism of the imaginative and self-serving argument of vendetta as professed by the petitioners in the subject proceedings,” the affidavit stated.
The police said that Republic TV has adopted “vacillating approach” in its rejoinder.
The police said that on the one hand, it (petitioner Republic TV) that there is no case at all and hence the proceedings/chargesheet should be quashed. However, it also states that the investigation of the offences is within the domain of Telecom and Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the investigation ought to be transferred to the CBI, and therefore it shows a contradiction in petitioners’ claims, the police said.
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