Updated: December 13, 2020 2:10:23 pm
Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani has been arrested by Mumbai police in the TRP manipulation case – the thirteenth person arrested in the case so far.
Confirming the arrest, a senior police official said Khanchandani’s statement was recorded twice and his role was identified during questioning by the head of Republic TV distribution. Ghanshyam singh who was previously arrested and charged by the Mumbai police. “We have direct evidence against Khanchandani and we have also found his link to the previously arrested defendant Ghanshyam Singh,” said an investigating officer.
Investigators further said that Khanchandani was part of an internal WhatsApp group where LCN (Logical Channel Number) discussions would take place. The criminal branch, in its charge sheet filed with the court, had mentioned that the channel’s officials also contacted the cable operators and allegedly used the Dual Logical Channel Number (LCN), which is why its two news channels They would appear in the ‘children’s channels’ genre, in addition to the ‘news channels’ category, thus appearing in two places.
The TRP tampering scam came to light in October after a Hansa official filed a complaint with the Mumbai police, after which the owner of Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema was arrested. In November, the Mumbai Police Crimes Division filed a 1,400 page charge sheet in the case of the alleged bogus TV Rating Points (TRPs), naming six channels, including those on the Republic Media Network and News Nation, as allegedly paying money to power TRPs for about two years.
The charges applied refer to fraud, forgery, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence with a maximum penalty of 10 years. All the channels named in the FIR have denied any wrongdoing.
Last week, the Supreme Court rejected the guilty plea brought by ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, owner of Republic Media Network, which seeks protection for the group and its employees from the cases brought against it in Maharashtra.
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