The Bombay High Court on Thursday issued a notice to the CBI on a fresh application filed by ARG Outlier Media Limited, which owns news channels Republic TV and Republic Bharat, in connection with the alleged TRP scam. The application sought a stay to the probe being conducted by the Mumbai police into alleged rigging of Television Rating Points (TRP).
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik posted the application and the main petition filed earlier by ARG Outlier Media and Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami to November 25. The petition seeks transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The bench also directed the Mumbai Police to submit details of its further probe in a sealed cover on that date. The police had submitted details of its investigation so far in a sealed cover on Wednesday.
The judges went through the report on Thursday and returned the original papers to the police. The petition has also sought that the First Information Report registered at Kandivali police station for cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy against the company in connection with the TRP scam be set aside.
In the latest application, the petitioners also questioned the Maharashtra government's "hurried" decision on October 21 to withdraw its general consent to the CBI to probe cases in the state. On Thursday, senior counsel Milind Sathe, who appeared for the petitioners, said the fresh application has been filed by amending the main petition to seek a stay to the ongoing probe and make the CBI a party.
The application alleged that the police were investigating several people, including the company's chartered accountants and auditors, who had nothing to do with the case. The Mumbai police has claimed to have unearthed a TRP rigging racket following the Broadcast Audience Research Council's complaint that certain television channels were manipulating TRP numbers by bribing viewers.