Maharashtra rights panel orders probe into complaint over arrests in TRP scam

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has asked its own investigation wing to probe the complaint which alleged that the arrest of Republic Media Network’s top officials Vikas Khanchandani and Ghyshaym Singh was “illegal and indiscriminate”.

Khanchandani and Singh are currently out on bail.

They had been arrested last month in connection with the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) rigging scam.

Following their arrest, one Aditya Mishra had approached the MSHRC, claiming the city police was falsely targeting the employees of Republic TV with a vendetta in mind.

After hearing the complaint for over a month, the commission on Thursday reserved its order and said it was entrusting the matter to its own investigation wing for an “impartial” probe.

The probe wing has been asked submit its report by March 10 to facilitate the commission in passing an appropriate judgement, it said.

The police began probe into the alleged scam after ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Agency about rigging of TRP by some channels.

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

It was alleged that some of these families were being bribed to tune into certain channels to ramp up their TRP.