MUMBAI: The Mumbai police on Friday told the Bombay High Court that its assurance of not taking any coercive action against journalist Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media that runs Republic TV channels, in the TRP scam case, shall continue till March 16.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Mumbai police, told a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale that the police’s earlier statement of no coercive action against Goswami and other employees shall be extended till March 16.
The court was hearing a petition filed by ARG Outlier Media, challenging the FIR and the charge sheet filed by the city police for alleged manipulation of television rating points (TRP).
The court accepted Sibal’s statement and posted the matter for final hearing on March 16.
The bench will hear ARG’s main prayers challenging the police’s investigation and seeking the transfer of probe to the CBI or any other independent agency, on March 16 via physical hearing.
ARG media and Goswami approached the HC last year filing a bunch of petitions seeking several reliefs in the TRP scam.
They alleged that the whole case was malafide and that they had been targeted for Republic TV’s reportage in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, and the Palghar lynching case, last year.
The Mumbai police had in January this year filed two affidavits in the case through the commissioner of police, Param Bir Singh, and ACP Shashank Sandbhor of the crime branch, saying it had not targeted Republic TV or its employees.
The police had said its probe was not a result of any political vendetta and that there was evidence to show that Goswami had connived with senior officials of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to rig the TRP of Republic TV.