Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Monday (October 19) told the Mumbai Police that if it proposes to arraign Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in the TRP (television rating points) case, it should first issue summons to him. It said that if summons are issued, Goswami should appear before the police and cooperate with the investigation.

The division Bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik also told the Mumbai Police to submit its investigation papers related to the case in a sealed cover by November 4.

The bench also said if such a summons is issued then Goswami shall appear before the police and cooperate with the investigation.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who represented the Mumbai police, agreed to the suggestion of the bench comprising justices SS Shinde and Makarand Karnik that the police should first summon Goswami—as has been the case for eight Republic TV employees—if the officer investigating the TRP scam decides to name him as an accused in the case.

The court was hearing a petition filed by ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, which owns the Republic TV and R Bharat news channels, for quashing of the first information report (FIR) registered at Kandivali police station in connection with TRP scam, and also seeking a transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The court was hearing a petition filed by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, which owns Republic TV, and Goswami seeking to quash the FIR lodged on 6 October.

The petition has also sought a direction to transfer the case to CBI to ensure a fair and transparent probe and also on the ground that the case will have pan-India repercussions.

A first information report was registered with Kandivali police on October 7, 2020, after the crime branch busted a racket involving the fraudulent increase of TRPs of certain channels, by payment to households where barometers were placed for the purpose of measuring TRPs.

In a press conference held the next day, Mumbai Police commissioner (CP) Param Bir Singh informed the media that one of the arrested accused had revealed that he was working for Republic TV and was paying households to fraudulently increase TRPs of the English news channel.

ARG Outlier Media has, however, claimed that the “Mumbai Police, including Param Bir Singh, harbour malice and ill-will against the petitioners as Republic TV and R Bharat have lately been at the forefront in questioning the tardy investigation by Mumbai Police in the Sushant Singh Rajput case and the Palghar lynching incident.”