A Metropolitan magistrate court on Monday rejected the bail application of Partho Dasgupta, the former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), who was arrested by Mumbai Police in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) scam case.
Dasgupta was arrested last month following the arrest of BARC’s COO, Romil Ramagarhia, with allegations that the two were part of a coterie at BARC that had manipulated TRPs to show Republic TV as the top channel in television rankings.
Seeking his bail, Dasgupta’s lawyers had submitted that it was not possible that he could have carried out the alleged manipulation, given that there were systems in place including the board of directors and internal committees at BARC. Police, however, opposed the plea stating that he was one of BARC’s top officials and investigation is still ongoing.
Dasgupta’s lawyers are likely to challenge the order before the sessions court. Police had claimed in their remand plea that he had received kickbacks in return of the favourable ratings. Mumbai Police had filed an FIR in this regard in October last year and a chargesheet in the following month against 12 arrested accused, including those who are alleged to have tampered with the barometers installed at homes to measure TRPs. The system used to measure viewership is a parameter for advertisers.
Police began making arrests, including those of the two former BARC top officials, after they received a third party audit report sought by the current BARC management following complaints about the activities of the earlier management.