TRP scam probe: Mumbai top cop counters Republic TV in HC, says he followed procedure
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court countering the allegation levelled against him by Republic TV which claimed that his press briefings on the TRP scam probe were aimed at falsely implicate the channel.
In his affidavit, Param Bir Singh stated that holding press briefings in sensitive cases was an established procedure.
The affidavit said, "We observe that Mumbai Police, as well as the other investigating agencies, may consider the desirability of appointing an officer who could be the link between the investigator and the media houses for upholding periodic briefings in sensitive cases or incidents that are likely to affect the public at large and to provide credible information to the extent such officer considers fit and proper."
The affidavit goes on to state that "no information or statement made by him in the briefing can be held to be offensive or would amount to malice".
"I deny there is any concerted effort or political conspiracy as alleged," the affidavit said.
The affidavit, filed through senior counsel Kapil Sibal, said that Mumbai Police had received a legitimate complaint regarding the scam, and it had initiated a probe following a preliminary inquiry and an analytical report submitted by the Broadcast Audience Research Council.
"The contention of the petitioners is that Mumbai Police harbour ill will and malice against the petitioners as the TV channels of the petitioners have questioned the investigation by Mumbai Police in the Sushant Singh Rajput case and Palghar lynching incident," Param Bir Singh said.
Republic TV had alleged that Mumbai police indulged in abuse of its powers in arresting some of its employees, including channel's assistant vice president for distribution Ghanshyam Singh.
The channel had also claimed that BARC had now confirmed that there was never a case against the network and there was no malpractice or illegality found against it.
Citing an e-mail from BARC, Republic TV claimed that the Mumbai Police commissioner had floated a factually-bereft campaign against it, "which has been comprehensively exposed at every turn".