TRP fraud case: Will not take action against Arnab Goswami, another Republican personnel until Wednesday, govt told HC

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |

December 15, 2020 9:36:49 PM

Chief Councilor Aabad Ponda said they feared that Mumbai Police would arrest Goswami and other employees of the channel, and therefore sought temporary assistance until the next hearing in the case.

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday gave assurances to the Bombay High Court that it would not take action against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd until Wednesday, the next hearing date.

The Bombay High Court accepted the statement, and said it would hear the TV channel’s request to seek cancellation of the FIR and Mumbai Police indictment in the TRP fraud case tomorrow.

The division bench of Judge SS Shinde and Judge MS Karnik was told on Tuesday by Chief Councilor Aabad Ponda that they feared that Mumbai Police had arrested Goswami and other employees of the channel, and therefore sought temporary assistance until the next hearing in the case.

Ponda argued that under a certain clause in the indictment, the form filed by the police seeking the arrest of any Republic TV employee was not valid because the Supreme Court ruled the form illegal.

Chief prosecutor Deepak Thakare opposed Ponda’s arguments, saying the channel could not seek a “general order” holding back the police from arresting any of its employees. He further said that the demand of Republic TV was unsustainable as the officials of the channel whom the Mumbai Police intended to arrest did not take part in the appeals and therefore the court could not give them assistance.

However, Ponda said the payroll, in addition to the channel’s name and its editor, also mentioned ‘sambandhit vyakti (relatives),’ and therefore all employees of the channel could seek help.

Ponda added that he was informed that the Mumbai Police had reached Delhi to arrest Goswami, and therefore there was an urgent need for the court to intervene until hearing of both parties.

After the court asked Thakare to seek instructions, he said no compulsory action will be taken against the persons mentioned in the indictment sheet until December 16th.

Meanwhile, a magistrate court in Mumbai on Tuesday imprisoned CEO of Republic TV Vikas Khanchandani, who was arrested in the TRP case on December 13, in judicial custody for 14 days. Moreover, the Mumbai Police have assured the session court that it will not arrest Republican TV CFO S Sundaram in the case until December 21st.

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