Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh on Wednesday unconditionally withdrew a defamation suit that he had filed against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, Live Law reported.

Singh had filed the suit against Goswami as well as ARG Outlier Media, the company that owns Republic TV, seeking damages of Rs 90 lakh. He had claimed that the channel had shown him in a bad light in its reportage of the alleged Television Rating Points scam.

Mumbai City Civil Judge VD Kelkar allowed Singh to withdraw the suit, but imposed a cost of Rs 1,500 on him, Bar and Bench reported. He directed that the money should be paid to Goswami.

“It is not in dispute that due to the filing of the suit, the defendant had to engage an advocate,” the judge said. “I feel cost needs to be imposed for withdrawal of the suit unconditionally.”

Goswami’s counsel Pradeep Gandhy stated that he had no objection to Singh withdrawing the suit, but sought damages for the “torture” that his client endured on account of the litigation. “It should not be misconstrued that we have settled the matter out of court,” he said.

Earlier, the television anchor had told the court that the suit was not maintainable, as Singh was no longer the Mumbai police commissioner.

“The instant suit has been filed by in exasperation; Singh has not approached the court with clean hands and filed the instant Suit with malafide intentions to teach the defendants and company a lesson without any basis and is not entitled to any reliefs whatsoever,” Goswami contended.

TRP case

A fake TRP racket was uncovered in October 2020 after the Broadcast Audience Research Council filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group – one of BARC’s vendors on engagement with panel homes, or “people’s meters”.

Channels were accused of rigging their TRPs by bribing some households to watch it.

The Mumbai Police had filed a chargesheet in the case in November 2020, in which it alleged that Republic TV had tampered with its viewership numbers to gain more revenue. In June 2021, the police filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case, in which Goswami had been named.

The Enforcement Directorate filed a separate chargesheet in the case in September. At the time, it told a Mumbai court that it did not find any evidence against Republic TV in the alleged scam.

The agency cleared Republic TV and its Hindi news channel R Bharat of allegations of having manipulated TRPs.