Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani has been granted bail by a Mumbai court on Wednesday in the fake TRP scam case registered by Mumbai Police.
Khanchandani was arrested by Mumbai Police on Sunday in connection with the alleged television ratings manipulation case. He is the 13th person to be arrested in the case. Earlier, Khanchandani and ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd CFO Sivasubramanian Sundaram moved Sessions Court, Mumbai seeking anticipatory bail in the fake TRP scam case registered by Mumbai Police apprehending arrest.
An employee of Hansa Research had filed a complaint and an FIR was registered for offences punishable under Sections 409, 420, 120 B, 465, 468, 406, 174, 179, 201, 204, 212 and 34 of the IPC at Kandivali Police station and the investigation was transferred to the Crime Branch Unit, Mumbai.
Both of them have been questioned by Mumbai Police in relation to the said FIR. While the CEO claims to have undergone 100 hours of “semi custodial interrogation”, the CFO has undergone 45 hours of “semi custodial interrogation”, their applications said.
“The applicant fears that despite having continuously co-operated he will be arrested in the case for the sole reason that he did not spin mistruths, despite the incessant pressure deployed and unparalleled levels of harassment meted out to the applicant, to enable the pre-determined, pre-judged and baseless narrative of the respondent so as to implicate a news organisation that has been seeking accountability from the respondent.”
Applicants have alleged that the Mumbai Police’s conduct and line of questioning in the case despite full cooperation by them smacks of malafides.
“The malice of the respondent became evident from the manner in which the Crime Branch has been conducting their investigation in the TRP matter. After a lapse of almost two months from being first summoned in relation to the said FIR, the applicant for the first time in December has now started receiving notices under Section 41A of CrPC under the false pretext that there were grounds to question the Applicant.”
Moreover, the applicants cite the example of Republic TV COO, who was granted bail on Friday by the Sessions Court.
“Applicant’s apprehension of arrest is also borne from the fact that in a similar case where the applicant’s colleague one Miss Priya Mukherjee was being questioned and interrogated, Ms Mukherjee was similarly ill-treated by the police officials despite showing full co-operation. “