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TRP scam: Bombay HC hears Partho Dasgupta’s bail plea, reserves its order

The Bombay High Court continued to hear the bail plea of former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta yesterday (February 16, 2021). Dasgupta is currently under investigation by the Mumbai Police for his alleged role in the TRP manipulation case. After hearing the arguments and submissions of Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hiray and Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda representing Dasgupta, the single judge Bench comprising Justice PD Naik of the Bombay High Court reserved its orders on the bail plea.

As per reports, Prosecutor Hiray told the Court that after receiving the Court’s permission to investigate Dasgupta while he is judicial custody, a questionnaire was given to him, however Dasgupta did not answer even the simplest of the questions.

Hiray added that there were voluminous chats that needed to be investigated. He also pointed out the close friendship between Dasgupta and the network channel head. “These are influential people, they can tamper with evidence,” he insisted.

In his rejoinder to Hiray’s submissions, Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda argued, “Not a single advertiser of the 32 crores he has claimed has come and said that they have over paid the channels.” He also added, “There is a charge of cheating and none of whom have been cheated have come forward.”

Ponda further stated that as per the prosecution’s affidavit, on about 6% of the entire scam was being investigated, as “only 6% of entire barometers are installed in Mumbai”.

Reading another report on the oversight committee, Ponda noted that “four times the data of Aadhar is stored with BARC” and hence, given the vast size the BARC data could not be manipulated.

Ponda also asked the prosecution why they had filed the report when the investigation was not complete and further noted that Dasgupta’s interrogation was not done properly while he was in judicial custody.


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