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Thursday, April 15, 2021

TRP manipulation case: Give three-day notice to Arnab Goswami in case of his arrest, HC tells Mumbai Police

The police told the court that it will complete the probe against Republic TV within three months.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: March 24, 2021 8:06:17 pm
Republic TV, TRP scam, Arnab GoswamiRepublic TV Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami (File photo)

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday passed an interim order stating that the Mumbai Police should give a three-day notice to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami if they want to arrest him in the TRP scam case. Police told the court that they will complete the probe against petitioner Republic TV within three months.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale was hearing a plea filed by ARG Outlier Media, which runs Republic TV and other channels, and Goswami challenging the police probe, FIR, court proceedings and chargesheets. The petitioners have also sought a transfer of the same to Central Bureau of Investigation or any other independent agency.

Senior counsel Ashok Mundargi, appearing for ARG Outlier Media, said while other channels have also been named, police were only interrogating Republic TV employees and the channel’s role. He added that though the Mumbai Police has been investigating for nearly four months, it has been unable to get any evidence to book Goswami or the channel.

On Wednesday, chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare submitted that the investigation will be completed within 12 weeks. The court admitted the petition and said the state will have to give a three-day notice (excluding holidays) to Goswami in case of his arrest, in view of “serious malafide” alleged by him against the police.

The court noted that the investigation cannot be stayed right now as there is no clarity on who the accused is.

Posting the matter for further hearing on June 28, the court directed Goswami to cooperate with the investigation till then.

The High Court, while admitting the petition by ARG Outlier Media, noted in the order, “We direct that in case the investigating officer desires to summon the petitioner Goswami for inquiry/investigation, he shall give clear notice of three days (excluding holidays) to him.”

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