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TRP scam case: SC defers plea for interim bail of former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta

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TRP SCAM LAW INSIDER IN

Sreya Kanugula

The Supreme Court postponed the plea hearing on the interim bail application filed by Mr. Partho Dasgupta, the former Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) chief executive officer (CEO).

Mr. Dasgupta had been arrested on the allegation of rigging TRPs and remains connected to the TRP scam case. 

His plea for interim bail on the grounds of medical issues had been listed to be heard in front of the bench led by Justice NV Ramana at the Apex Court. 

However, the hearing was postponed by the bench on this case since the party had requested for it to be done so. The accused was admitted to JJ hospital at Mumbai concerning health-related matters. 

Previously, he had been lodged at the Taloja Central Jail located in Navi Mumbai. During this time, an application for bail had also been filed before the High Court of Bombay. 

On January 20, 2021, a sessions court in Mumbai had rejected Mr. Dasgupta’s bail and made the observation that the main manipulator and mastermind behind the Television Rating Point (TRP) scam appeared to be none other than the former BARC CEO himself. 

Mr. Dasgupta’s legal representatives had also submitted to the Mumbai sessions court that other people arrested concerning the case had been given bail and he deserved the right to be released on bail as well. 

It was noted in the order given by the sessions court that

It is true that 14 accused were released by Ld ACMM on bail but the case paper in the present crime reflect that the accused is the mastermind of the entire crime and he was acting in a capacity of CEO to manipulate the television rating through a mechanical device,

The WhatsApp chats between the former BARC CEO as well as other TV channel owners was the evidence on which the prosecution had relied upon to make their case and it was part of the police filed supplementary charge sheet as well. 

During the rejection of the bail application, an observation on how the accused had used several coded words in the chat conversations was also observed by the court. These words were ones that only Mr. Dasgupta could give an explanation for. 

Hence, it was held by the sessions court that an investigation on a face-to-face basis was required upon this case.