Home > News > Channel must refrain from conducting parallel trial in TRP case says state counsel to Bombay HC | India News

Channel must refrain from conducting parallel trial in TRP case says state counsel to Bombay HC | India News


MUMBAI: As hearing in a plea against probe into an alleged TRP scam was deferred on Wednesday to December 2, state counsel Kapil Sibal sought orders from Bombay high court to restrain Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV from running a “parallel trial” on the case by inviting witnesses, till the next hearing. Goswami’s counsel Aabad Ponda said no orders can be passed without a proper application by the state and without hearing him.
The court agreed with Ponda, who however said he would “sincerely convey” Sibal’s oral request to his client.
A report submitted to court the copy of the chargesheet, which Ponda said he would now challenge. Sibal said “every matter of Goswami cannot be fast tracked like that. What is so special about him? He should file amended petition and give us few days to reply.”
Ponda said he would amend a petition filed by ARG Outlier with new grounds of challenge raised and serve it on the Maharashtra government by Friday. The state can then file its reply to the HC which thus adjourned the matter.
Sibal orally submitted that till the next date, there should not be a “parallel trial and discussion on the media channel and people should not be interrogated on the channel” adding, “it would be interference” with administration of justice. He said he could cite “any number of judgments where the Supreme Court has deprecated this practice.”
Sibal said the chargesheet filed on Tuesday was under one of the charges and Hansa Research Group may be called during investigations into two remaining issues for which a supplementary chargesheet will be filed later. The Hansa group again sought orders to limit their presence at the police station to twice a week for a few reasonable hours as assured pre-Diwali vacation. Devadatt Kamat counsel for the police said the same process would be followed till December 2.
The petition filed by ARG also seeks a transfer of investigation to the CBI.
Ponda, said the issue of parallel trials or probes was already a subject matter of several petitions filed in courts across the country, including before the Bombay HC chief justice’s bench.
The Hansa Research Group has alleged harassment by the police and also sought transfer to CBI.
The police alleged manipulation of TRP a rating system ‘used for ad revenues’ but Republic TV and other accused have denied any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile sessions court this week granted bail to two accused in the TRP scam case. While Dineshkumar Vishwakarma (37) was arrested on October 20, Abhishekh Kolawde (35) was in jail since October 25. Granting bail to both accused, the court said, “It appears that investigations in respect of the applicant is almost complete. Investigation, if any, can be carried out without the custody of the applicant. No purpose will be served by keeping the accused behind bars.”
Vishwakarma is accused of handing over money to a person in whose house the barometer was installed. The prosecution submitted that this person was asked to watch WOW TV so that its TRP could increase. Opposing Kolawde’s bail plea, the prosecution submitted that he had handed money to co accused, employees of Hansa Research Group Private Limited to increase the TRP of Republic TV.

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