The Supreme Court has rejected to admit a petition by Republic TV requesting a CBI probe on alleged rigging viewership rating scam, saying that the channel should instead approach the Bombay High Court like any ordinary citizen facing investigation.
Justice DY Chandrachud who was heading the three-judge bench in the case said that a petition has already been filed in high court and entertaining this petition without high court sends message that they don’t have faith in high courts. “Like any other citizens faces predicament of probe under CrPC must go to the high court,” said Chandrachud.
The court further said that it was “concerned” over recent interviews by police commissioners to the media. “We are concerned with the tendency of Police commissioner to give interviews now a days,” Justice DY Chandrachud without referring to the case. Republic TV has now withdrawn its plea from the top court, reported NDTV.
The report stated that the Mumbai Police had opposed the petition filed by Republic TV, saying that the channel was making attempts to thwart the police investigations in the case.
In an advance petition filed in the Supreme Court late last night, the Mumbai Police said that Republic TV is abusing the process of law by conducting programmes in the case and “intimidating the witnesses”.
“Republic TV’s demand to transfer the probe to CBI is misconceived. Republic TV wants to thwart the probe into fudging of TRP ratings. Media trial is against free and fair probe. Arnab Goswami (Republic TV’s editor-in-chief) is holding programmes where this case is debated at length and contacting witnesses and interfering and intimidating the witnesses,” the police said in the affidavit.
Republic TV – which claims the highest TRPs or Television Rating Points among news channels – has said that it was being targeted for its coverage of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, where they have questioned the role of Mumbai Police.
The channel’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami had also said they will sue Mumbai Police for the allegations and that there is “not a single BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) report that mentioned Republic TV”. “The people of India know the truth. BARC has not mentioned Republic in any complaint,” he said.