In a shocking revelation in the TRP manipulation scam, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India’s former CEO Partho Dasgupta, has confessed of being bribed by Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
According to Mumbai Police’s 3600 pages supplementary charge sheet submitted on January 11, in a handwritten statement, Dasgupta has claimed in order to manipulate the ratings favouring Republic TV he was paid $12000 (nearly 8.75 lakh rupees) for two separate holidays alongside rupees 40 lakhs in three years by Goswami, the Indian Express reported.
The supplementary chargesheet was filed against Dasgupta, former BARC COO Romil Ramgarhia and Republic Media Network CEO Vikas Khanchandani, it said.
As per reports, besides Dasgupta’s confession, the chargesheet also comprises a BARC forensic audit report from July 24 last year, WhatsApp chats between Goswami and him, and statements of 59 persons.
Moreover, the BARC audit report, not just have named Republic TV it has also cited names of Times Now and Aaj Tak for alleged manipulation of ratings by the agency’s top notch officials.
The first chargesheet in this case was filed against 12 persons in November last year while in the second chargesheet, Dasgupta’s statement was recorded in the office of the Crime Intelligence Unit on December 27, last year at 5.15 pm, in the presence of two witnesses.
In the Indian Express report, Dasgupta’s statement reads: “I have known Arnab Goswami since 2004. We used to work together in Times Now. I joined BARC as CEO in 2013. Arnab Goswami launched Republic in 2017. Even before launching Republic TV he would talk to me about plans for the launch and indirectly hint at helping him to get good ratings to his channel. Goswami knew very well that I know how the TRP system works. He also alluded to helping me out in the future.”
The report further stated, “I worked with my team to ensure manipulation of TRP ratings that made Republic TV get number 1 rating. This would have continued from 2017 to 2019. Towards this, in 2017 Arnab Goswami had personally met me at St Regis hotel, Lower Parel and given me 6000 dollars cash for my France and Switzerland family trip…also in 2019 Arnab Goswami had personally met me at St Regis and given me 6000 dollars for my Sweden and Denmark family trip. Also in 2017, Goswami had personally met me at ITC Parel hotel and given me Rs 20 lakh cash… also in 2018 and 2019… Goswami met me at ITC hotel Parel and gave me Rs 10 lakhs each time…”
Dasgupta is currently in judicial custody.