Mumbai Police informed Bombay High Court: Hansa Research Group approached court seeking probe transfer

Bombay High Court LAW INSIDER IN

Sreya Kanugula

Mumbai Police informed the High Court of Bombay that the Hansa Research Group had approached the court seeking for the probe transfer from the crime branch of the Mumbai Police to the Centra Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concerning the Television Rating Points (TRP) scam, only after the investigation began to open the nexus between the Group and the scam-related news channels.

In the affidavit that they filed to the High Court, the police stated that the research group had filed for the transfer request only to aid and assist ARG Outlier Media Private Ltd., the one who owns Republic TV, and to lend protection to them against prosecution.

“It is only when the investigation started to expose the nexus between the Petitioner and the channel, the doors of this Court were knocked to stall the on-going investigation. … It is submitted that 5 out of 15 persons arrested so far in connection with the scam are former employees of Hansa Research,” the filed police affidavit stated.

The plea filed by the Hansa Research Group in front of the High Court sought the probe transfer on the TRP scam case to be done so on the grounds of their employees undergoing harassment to making false allegations against them and those in line with the Mumbai Police crime division’s designs.

The police had refuted the claims made by the group and pointed out that the investigation transfer to CBI was being sought outside the routine procedure and with ulterior motives.

The accused/complainant knows no rights to make a decision on which investigating agency or investigating method was being employed to look into them was also added in the affidavit.

It was also contended that “During investigation of an offence if any material comes to light indicating involvement of any person including the complainant in respect of commission of offence the police is not precluded from investigating the same merely because the information was originally given by the complainant,” in the filed affidavit.

Denial of harassment or any sort of coercion on the employees of the research group had been proclaimed by the police and they insisted that they were conducting a fair and judicious investigation.

“The entire theory/allegation of pressure and harassment has been made only for creating a smokescreen” the affidavit added.

It had been claimed that the evidence that surfaced over the investigation’s course which currently points to several suspicious wires and transactions over Rs. 32 lakh rupees between Hansa Research Group and ARG Outlier, was hidden by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).

Specific allegations made by the group on the police’s compulsion of their employees to state some specific claims against ARG Outlier regarding a report that was previously displayed on Republic TV were also rebutted by the Mumbai police.

The police, relying on the suit filed against the ARG Outlier Media company in front of the city’s Civil Court in which Hansa had denied the report under oath, had found it needless to pursue any further statements with regards to that.

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