ARG Outlier Media, which runs Republic TV and other channels, told the Bombay High Court that the Mumbai police’s chargesheet in the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) fraud case did not disclose “a shred of evidence” to support the charges levelled against Republic TV and its employees including its Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
ARG Outlier Media filed a rejoinder affidavit in the High Court on Tuesday stating that the police had “falsely implicated” its employees in the case. It said that the entire case against its channels and employees was based on “unparalleled political vendetta” and “deeply malicious witch hunt”, which continued unabated.
“The chargesheet though voluminous in weight is negligible in evidence against petitioners…the law-and-order officers have failed to establish a single shred of evidence against the company in their chargesheet. A combined reading of the chargesheet do not disclose the commission of offences by the petitioners,” the affidavit stated.
Referring to purported WhatsApp chats between Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (CEO) Partho Dasgupta, ARG Outlier contended that they were selectively leaked, twisted and doctored to create prejudice and discredit the petitioners, despite that the chats have nothing to do with the TRP case and did not establish wrongdoing on the part of the petitioners.
ARG Outlier Media in its affidavit said Hansa Research Group, complainant in the case, had not named Republic TV or its employees.
The Company also claimed that police harassed and physically tortured some of its employees, including Assistant Vice President Ghanshyam Singh. Moreover, it said that CEO Vikas Khanchandani, and some others were pressurised to implicate Republic TV.
The affidavit also stated that there were no actual stakeholders, including advertisers or media houses, which were supposedly affected by the alleged TRP fraud case, had come forward as complainants in the case.
HC is likely to hear ARG’s plea against Mumbai Police’s case on February 12.