TRP scam: Mumbai Police summons Republic TV CFO

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Mumbai Police
Mumbai Police

Mumbai : Mumbai Police has summoned the Chief Financial Officer of Republic TV for questioning in the investigation into allegations that the television channel paid viewers to game its ratings and illegally earn more ad revenue, officials said.

Shiva Subramaniyam Sundaram is the first senior management official of the TV network to be summoned in the scandal. Mumbai Police of Thursday claimed that the agency, which tracks viewership, had alleged that the numbers were being fudged by certain channels.

Republic TV is among the three channels which have been named in the investigation by Mumbai Police for allegedly tricking the TRPs. The two others are local channels in Maharashtra called Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.

The police said they intend to carry out a "forensic audit" of Republic TV's accounts and the summons to Mr Sundaram contend that there are reasonable grounds to believe that he is "acquainted with certain facts and circumstances of the matter".

Four people, including owners of the two smaller channels have already been arrested in the case. The police have said the accounts of Republic TV and the others could be frozen if it was established that the channels made advertising money using rigged ratings.

Meanwhile, Republic TV has strongly rejected the claims and blamed Mumbai Police of setting up a false investigation against the channel because they questioned them in Sushant Singh Rajput case.

Republic TV's Arnab Goswami said he will sue Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh for the allegations and that there is "not a single BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) report that mentioned Republic TV". "The people of India know the truth. BARC has not mentioned Republic in any complaint," he added.