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Court sends former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta to police custody in alleged TRP scam

Dasgupta is the fifteenth person to be arrested in the case related to alleged rigging of Television Rating Points (TRP) by some TV channels.

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Mumbai: A magistrate’s court here on Friday remandedPartho Dasgupta, a former CEO of the rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), to police custody till December 28 in the alleged fake TRP scam.

Dasgupta was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch from Pune district on Thursday and produced before the court on Friday.

The police sought his remand for further probe, saying his custodial interrogation was required to understand his role in the scam.

Dasgupta’s lawyer Kamlesh Ghumre argued that the offences of cheating and criminal breach of trust for which he has been booked were not made out against him.

The probe was harassment and use of pressuring tactics by police, the lawyer alleged.

After hearing both the sides, the court sent the accused in the custody of the crime branch till December 28.

Dasgupta is the fifteenth person to be arrested in the case related to alleged rigging of Television Rating Points (TRP) by some TV channels.

The court on Thursday had granted bail to another accused in the case, Ramil Ramgarhia, a former chief operating officer of the BARC.

The probe was over and therefore his detention was not needed, the court observed.

Most of the accused in the case are now out on bail.

Mumbai police began the probe after the BARC, a rating agency, filed a complaint about the rigging of TRP by some channels.

TRP, measured by recording viewership data at sample households, is crucial as it helps TV channels attract advertisers. It was alleged that some of these households were being bribed to tune into certain channels to ramp up their ratings.


Also read: Why TRPs are important for broadcasters, and are also prone to ‘manipulation’


 

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