The Mumbai Police on Thursday arrested Broadcast Audience Research Council’s former Chief Executive Officer Partho Dasgupta in connection with the television rating points manipulation case, PTI reported.
Dasgupta was arrested by the Crime Intelligence Unit in Pune. An unidentified official told PTI that he will be produced before a court in Mumbai on Friday.
The ratings agency’s former top executive is the 15th person to be arrested in the TRP case. Last week, the police had arrested the agency’s former Chief Operating Officer Romil Ramgarhia. Republic TV Chief Executive Officer Vikas Khanchandani was also arrested in the case but given bail on December 16.
A fake TRP racket was uncovered in October when 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”. Some of the channels were accused of rigging their TRPs by bribing some households to watch it.
Several Republic TV officials have been questioned in the case. Apart from Republic TV, Box Cinema and Marathi channel Fakt Marathi were the others named during the preliminary investigation.
On December 9, Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami had moved the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the Mumbai Police’s investigations into the scam. The petition, filed by Goswami and ARG Outlier Media, which owns Republic TV, alleged that the channel’s
Assistant Vice-president of Distribution Ghanshyam Singh was subjected to custodial torture following his arrest on November 10. A day later, the channel had also moved the National Human Rights Commission against the alleged torture of Singh.
The human rights panel issued notices to the Maharashtra director general of police and inspector general of prisons. It has directed them to submit Singh’s initial health screening report at the time of his admission to jail and his medical treatment record during his stay in the custody, within four weeks.