The controversy over the Mumbai police’s claim that it has busted a Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation racket, took a new turn after news channel India Today has admitted that it was fined by rating agency BARC.
Reacting to a report published on OpIndia.com, the India Today has issued a press release on Friday, conceding that it was fined Rs 5 lakh by the BARC. However, India Today has alleged that BARC has fined it without 'presenting any concrete evidence'.
“In a separate matter, BARC has fined India Today without presenting any concrete evidence or convening a proper judicial committee. The issue had been under contention with them, but since they have leaked the confidential hearings, the India Today Group will consider appropriate legal recourse to get justice, India Today's statement said.
Earlier, quoting the sources, the OpIndia had reported that India Today was asked to pay a fine of Rs 5,00,000 after their explanation did not satisfactorily explain the increase in India Today viewership by the BARC Disciplinary Council.
“A show-cause notice was sent to TV Today Network Ltd and BARC regarding viewership malpractice on 27th April 2020, according to our sources. The response by TV Today Network Limited, who is a subscriber of BARC, was not found satisfactory by the BARC Disciplinary Council and the BDC had ruled that the response by India Today “does not satisfactorily explain the buoyancy of India Today channel, in particular, geographies (Mumbai and Bangalore)”, the report said.
Responding to false allegations made against Republic TV by Mumbai police Commissioner Parambir Singh, Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Thursday issued a statement announcing that Republic TV will file a criminal defamation case against the Mumbai Police Commissioner. Arnab made it clear that BARC has not mentioned Republic TV in a single complaint.
"Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has made false allegations against Republic TV because we have questioned him in the Sushant Singh Rajput case investigation. Republic TV will file a criminal defamation case against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. There is not a single BARC report that mentions Republic TV. The people of India know the truth. Mr. Param Bir Singh’s investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput case is under a cloud and this is a desperate measure because of Republic TV’s reportage on Palghar, the Sushant Singh Rajput case or any other case. This kind of targeting only strengthens the resolve of everyone at Republic TV to push for the truth even harder. Param Bir Singh stands completely exposed today, since BARC has not mentioned Republic in any single complaint. He should issue an official apology and get ready to face us in court," Arnab said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Thuglak editor and eminent intellectual S Gurumurthy on Friday, said that he had confirmed with the agency Hansa Research regarding Indian news channel India Today being named in Mumbai police's alleged 'TRP scam' FIR. Gurumurthy questioned as to why Mumbai commissioner Param Bir Singh mentioned when Republic TV was not mentioned in the FIR. "I too checked up with Hansa Research. It confirmed Republic TV is not mentioned in their report. Has mentioned only India Today TV. How then did the CoP Mumbai mention RTV name? With the Maha Govt/Mumbai CoP’s known hostility to RTV it is only it is not investigated by them," Shri Gurumurthy tweeted.