Fake TRP scam: Crime Branch finds flaws in probe conducted by Sachin Vaze, says the malice is evident in the investigation against Arnab Goswami

Fake TRP scam: Crime Branch finds flaws in probe conducted by Sachin Vaze, says the malice is evident in the investigation against Arnab Goswami


In the Fake TRP scam case, a new twist has come up as senior state home department officials have found flaws in the probe conducted by dismissed cop Sachin Waze and his team. This comes after Arnab Goswami, the managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network, approached the Mumbai police a few months ago, alleging errors in the investigation, in a case lodged against him for alleged manipulation of Television Ratings Points (TRP) in October 2020. In June 2021, a charge sheet was submitted in the case.

According to a Hindustan Times report, senior officials in the state home department recently got documents pertaining to the case from Mumbai police, and upon re-examination detected significant errors as well as evident malice in the previous probe conducted by dismissed police officer Sachin Waze and his team. Vaze was the head of the crime intelligence unit (CIU) that looked into the case. 

Notably, Vaze is also a prime accused in the Mansukh Hiren murder and Antilia bomb scare cases. According to the crime branch, allegations of demands for bribes had stymied the investigation.

According to a senior home department official, the file will be sent to the law and judiciary department soon. He stated that police examined the papers from the earlier case as well as investigations conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) adding that both the agencies had registered cases involving alleged TRP manipulation.

Reportedly, previous authorities requested to register an offence when there were specific provisions in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (TRAI) meant for dealing with the charges. According to the HT report,  in such a case, the state government has the authority under section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to discontinue criminal cases.

‘Fake TRP’ scam

In October 2020, Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh, in an explosive statement accused Republic TV of ‘TRP manipulation’. In a witch hunt attack against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami, the Mumbai Commissioner had claimed, that the channel had illegally paid some households to keep some channels on even if they were not at home to boost their TRP.

The Mumbai Police had filed a complaint against three channels namely Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema, and Republic-TV for manipulating television rating points (TRPs).

However, by the end of the day, it was revealed that in the original FIR, Republic TV did not find a mention anywhere. In fact, it was India Today that had been named in the original FIR. Later, the Joint Commissioner had to admit even India Today was named in the ‘Fake TRP’ FIR. In September last year, the Enforcement Directorate filed a charge sheet before a special court in Mumbai in which it confirmed that no evidence was found against Republic Media Network in the fake TRP case.

Republic TV’s alleged participation in bribing/influencing panel households to watch Republic TV or Republic Bharat channels was thoroughly investigated. The charge sheet stated that it became clear that the Mumbai police probe was ‘at variance’ with the ED investigation. The panel households back then had denied taking money to watch Republic TV or Republic Bharat.


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