Report on Shemaroo

TRP scam: Mumbai police objects to ED’s status report on Republic TV

The hearing has been adjourned till 29 January

NEW DELHI: The Mumbai police counsel in the Republic TV channel vs Mumbai police case, related to alleged rigging of TRP by the former, showed strong objection to the enforcement directorate (ED) appearing in the court. Appearing on behalf of the police department, senior advocate Kapil Sibal asserted that only the Mumbai police has the jurisdiction to investigate the case. 

The ED had filed an affidavit in the impleading application filed by Republic TV’s parent company ARG Outlier, naming the agency as an additional respondent in the case, and that a status report can be filed in a sealed cover. 

Republic TV’s lawyer Harish Salve charged that if the findings of ED in the case are different from those of the Mumbai police, it means that the latter is acting with malice against the channel and Arnab Goswami. 

He had started his submissions for the day by once again pointing out that Mumbai police’s case is “politically motivated” to “settle scores” with Goswami. 

“The proceedings start with the Mumbai police commissioner calling a press conference, with glee on his face, against Mr Goswami. They first start with BARC. Then they investigate Republic for violations under the Telegraph Act, which they have no jurisdiction at all. Mumbai police drift off into something which they have no jurisdiction,” Salve argued. 

When additional solicitor general Anil Singh, appearing for the ED, tried to make his submissions, Sibal objected and said Singh has no role here. “I have strong objections to ED appearing in this matter. Why is your enthusiasm more apparent? Obviously, you want to support him. I know about your dishonesty and ED's honesty,” he said. 

To this, Salve reacted sharply and said to the court, “It is interesting that my learned friend appearing for the Maharashtra government is calling a Union agency dishonest.”

A bench comprising Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale adjourned the matter for further hearing till 29 January, after Sibal sought time till next Monday to file his reply in the matter of Mumbai police’s jurisdiction in investigating the case. The Mumbai police counsel also agreed to extend the protection against coercive action to employees of Republic TV till the next date of hearing.

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