A sessions court in Mumbai on Monday refused to grant interim bail to Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) and an accused in the TRP manipulation case. The court will hear arguments in the case to decide on Dasgupta's bail plea on January 15.
In his plea seeking bail, Dasgupta told the court he was 55 years of age, and a diabetic, and that he suffered from other medical ailments. He also said the allegations against him were based on "conjecture".
His counsel Shardul Singh told sessions court Judge MA Bhosale that no offence of cheating, as alleged by the prosecution, was made out against Dasgupta. He also said since a charge sheet and a supplementary charge sheet had already been filed in the case, Dasgupta deserved to be let out on bail, adding that several of the co-accused in the case had already been granted bail.
Special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray, however, told court the police had filed a voluminous supplementary charge sheet on Monday of over 5,000 pages, and that he would need time to go through it. Singh then said Dasgupta must be granted interim bail since the supplementary charge sheet too had been filed, but Hiray opposed the argument and said the court must not grant interim bail to Dasgupta without hearing the prosecution's arguments.
Judge Bhosale said he was not inclined to grant bail without hearing all parties. The TRP scam came to light in October last year when BARC filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, one of BARC's vendors on engagement with panel homes, alleging that some channels were rigging television rating points.