New Delhi: The Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Sunday arrested Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani in connection with its probe into the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam. Notably, Khanchandani is the 13th person to be arrested in the case so far. Also Read - Republic TV's Arnab Goswami, Others Paid 'Lakhs' to BARC Officials for TRP Manipulations, says Mumbai Police
Confirming the development, an official said that Khanchandani was arrested early Sunday morning from his residence. He will be produced before the holiday court later in the day. Also Read - TRP Scam: Former CEO of Rating Agency BARC Held in Pune, 15th Arrest in Case
The arrest of the top executive came days after the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea filed by ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, which owns the Republic Media network, seeking protection for the group and its employees in the cases lodged against them in Maharashtra. Also Read - Republic Media Network CEO Vikas Khanchandani Gets Bail in TRP Rigging Case
“This petition is ambitious in nature. You want Maharashtra police not to arrest any employee and transfer the cases to CBI. You better withdraw this,” Justice Chandrachud told senior advocate Milind Sathe, who appeared for ARG Outlier Media.
The fake TRP (Television Rating Point) scam came to light when ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers.
Police had alleged that some channels were paying bribes to boost TRP fraudulently so as to increase advertising revenue.
It was claimed that some families at whose houses metres were installed for collecting data of viewership were being bribed to tune into a particular channel.