MUMBAI: Arnab Goswami has filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court seeking directions for quashing of FIR against the channel and its employees in the TRP scam case. Moreover, Goswami has sought the directions for transferring TRP scam case probe from Mumbai Police to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Earlier, Goswami had moved Supreme Court but was asked to approach the High Court and refused to entertain the writ petition. The apex court also added that the office of Republic TV is closer to the Bombay High Court and it is the appropriate forum to approach before coming to Supreme Court.
The petition was filed on Friday asked to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh for "gross dereliction of duty and abuse of power."
"The investigation will have a pan-India effect of various stakeholders including cable TV operators, broadcasters, media agencies, advertisers and all other stakeholders and criminal the culpability of any magnitude requires a pan-India investigation agency. The CBI like reputed agency can unearth the real conspiracy and alleged malpractices of any stakeholder” stated in the writ petition.
It further said, “It is important to entrust the investigation to the centralized agency to repose faith of all stakeholders and any investigation to be carried out by Respondent Nos. 1 to 4 in a premeditated and pre-planned manner to implicate the Petitioners not only will have a ripple effect on the TV industry but also set a very wrong precedent on the scope of such investigation to be carried out in future as well.”
Meanwhile, Khar Police station of Mumbai called the Republic TV reporter Pradeep Bhandari for questioning in connection with the demolition of film actor Kangna Ranaut's office by the BMC. Bhandari tweeted that despite anticipatory bail, the police has detained him.
The Mumbai Crime Branch had registered an FIR under various sections of Indian Penal Code for cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy against Republic TV and its senior officials, and also against two other local regional channels.
It has alleged that these channels were rigging TRPs. It has so far arrested six persons in the case. The petition is likely to to be taken up for hearing next week.