TRP scam accused Maha Movie channel CEO Sanjay Verma held in copyright violation case

MUMBAI: Mumbai Police on Tuesday arrested Maha Movie television channel’s CEO Sanjay Verma in an alleged copyright violation case, a police official said.

He is also a wanted accused in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) rigging scam.

Verma was apprehended by the Mumbai Police’s Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), the official said.

A case of copyright violation was registered at Juhu police station here and the investigation into it was transferred to the CIU, he said.

During a probe into the case, Verma’s alleged role came to light, following which he was questioned by a team led by CIU in-charge assistant police inspector Sachin Waze and subsequently placed under arrest, the official said.

During his interrogation, Verma told crime branch officials that Maha Movie channel had illegally broadcast movies such as “Zanjeer”, “Lawaris”, “Jadugar”, “Mohabbat Ke Dushman”, “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar” between June 10 to November 10, 2020, he said.

Copyrights of these movies are with Punit Mehra’s company, who is the son of legendary film producer Prakash Mehra, the official said, adding that Mehra never sold those rights to any other company or individuals.

Earlier, the crime branch had arrested Mohammed Bilal Shaikh alias Raju Khan (42) and Ghanshyam Giri (42) in the case, he said.

The official said nine more persons are wanted in the case, including the proprietor of Zoya Films, a proprietor of Sonam music company, a proprietor of VIP Films, directors of Tele-One Consumers Pvt Ltd, DV Media Entertainment Ltd and Darvi Media Entertainment Ltd.

Notably, in a charge sheet filed recently in the TRP rigging case, the police alleged that an official of Hansa Research Agency paid money to sample households to tune into Maha Movie, Box Cinema, Fakt Marathi and Republic TV channels.

TRP, measured by recording viewership data at sample households, is crucial for attracting advertisers.

The Republic TV and others have denied any wrongdoing.