How much more time required to complete investigation: HC questions Mumbai Police in TRP case

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The Bombay high court (HC) asked Mumbai Police to inform it as to how long it wants to continue investigations in the television rating point (TRP) scam case while noting that even after three months, investigations had not yielded anything concrete.

The court questioned the Mumbai police if they indeed have any evidence against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, and why it had not named them as accused in the case despite claims of having adequate evidence against them.

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale directed Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Shishir Hiray to inform the court by Thursday whether the police plan to proceed against Goswami and Republic TV.

“You have been investigating for the last three months. There are two chargesheets and there seems to be no evidence against them. And this FIR (was lodged) in October 2020. We are in March 2021,” the HC said.

On Wednesday, the division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale were hearing the petition filed by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, which runs Republic TV, and Goswami, seeking quashing of the first information report (FIR) and charge sheet filed by Mumbai Police in TRP case.

Mundargi, appearing for Goswami and ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, told the HC that the police had named Goswami and several employees of the ARG Outlier Media as suspects, but had no evidence to charge them as accused in the case.

“They (police) cannot keep investigating forever. If they have some material against us, they have to show it to us, they cannot keep playing hot and cold,” Mundargi argued.

However, SPP Shishir Hiray,  appearing for the Maharashtra government, said the police have adequate evidence in the case and that they are still “collecting” additional evidence.

The HC will continue hearing the arguments on Thursday.

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