Television news network Republic TV on Thursday announced that it will be taking legal action against the Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh for his announcement that the channel was found to be manipulating data to show higher television rating points. Mumbai police on Thursday announced that they are investigating a ‘false TRP racket’ being carried out by three channels in Mumbai, including the Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV, and that they have been paying households to keep their channels on.
Republic TV issued a statement shortly after the top cop’s press conference, refuting all allegations and asked the Mumbai Police Commissioner to apologise. “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. The people of India know the truth. 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,” the statement said.
Arnab Goswami then appeared on the channel and said that he will be filing a legal defamation case. Responding to the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s statement that Arnab may be summoned soon, Arnab said that he will follow the summons and he will walk from his home to the police station. “I shall walk to the police station and walk back. If you think you can bring down Arnab Goswami, if you think you can bring down the channel, you are bound to fail,” he said.
Questioning the Mumbai Police Commissioner, Arnab said, "Who told you to do this? Sharad Pawar? Antonio Maino? Let me tell you, Parambir Singh, you are going to fail. You are completely exposed. You are a pliable tool. I feel sorry for you."
He called upon the viewers of the channel for support, adding that he is being targeted for following up on the Sushant Singh Rajput death case and the Palghar lynching case.
"There is only one channel in the country that is exposing the truth and that is the reason why these people think they can target us. The first fact is BARC has not mentioned Republic in any single complaint or statement. Parambir Singh in his desperation to go to the media has made up facts. Why is Parambir Singh trying to threaten us? Unlike you, Parambir Singh, I have led a transparent life. Parambir Singh says he will close down our channel. I dare you, I dare you Parambir Singh to close Republic down," Arnab said.
The Mumbai police have registered a case under Sections 409 (Criminal breach of trust) and Section 420 (Cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and are investigating the manipulation of TRP data in Mumbai.
Other than Republic TV, two Marathi channels, named Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema, were also named by the police and the owners of the two Marathi channels have been arrested. Police said that those connected with Republic TV, ‘who had anything to do with the illegal proceeds’ will be questioned soon.