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Mumbai court rejects Partho Dasgupta’s bail plea

The Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Esplanade has rejected the bail plea of former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India CEO Partho Dasgupta. Dasgupta’s advocate Kamlesh Ghumre is expected to approach Bombay High Court soon.

Dasgupta, the 15th person to be arrested in the TRP scam case was sent to 14-day judicial custody on December 30, 2020.

The crime intelligence unit (CIU) of Mumbai police on January 3 had questioned Dasgupta for an hour in Taloja jail after obtaining permission from the 37th metropolitan magistrate court to interrogate him. They claimed that the former CEO had allegedly conspired to hike the ratings of a channel and reduce the ratings of rivals.

The report states that as per police investigations, the accused channels “conspired” to illegally raise the TRPs of their channels and had paid Dasgupta on several occasions, sometimes in dollars. Dasgupta has reportedly invested the money in jewellery and other immovable properties. Police have seized watches, laptops, mobile phones and silver jewellery from Dasgupta’s residence.

The police allege that under Dasgupta’s watch, the TRPs were manipulated, bringing down the ratings of TIMES Now and CNN-News18 to second and third spot respectively.

Police say that initially, Dasgupta and his accomplices fudged raw data from BARC to show inflated viewership. Later, a combination of three methods was used to manipulate the data and project the accused news channel of being number one. –TVJ Bureau

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