TRP case: SC quashes Republic TV plea against Mumbai police summon

New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a writ petition filed by Republic TV channel to quash the summon issued by the Mumbai Police to the officials of the channel in connection with the TRP case and asked the petitioner to approach the Bombay High Court.

“We must have faith in the High Court. Encroaching upon its jurisdiction sends a bad message,” Justice D Y Chandrachud stated.

Justice Chandrachud underlined that the case was registered in Mumbai (Worli) and it would be better if the concerned party approaches the High Court.

The bench advised the petitioner, represented by the senior advocate Harish Salve, to knock the doors of the HC under Article 226 of the Constitution. The said Article empowers the High Court to issue orders, directions or writs to any person, government or authority.

When Salve bated for Article 32, under which an individual can approach the Supreme Court for the violation of its fundamental rights, Justice Indu Malhotra, another judge of the bench, said the scope of Article 226 is wider than Article 32.

The court allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition.

However, the Apex Court was unhappy with the unprofessionalism of the Police Commissioners by giving interviews on the matter. “We are concerned by the way Police Commissioners are giving interviews to the press,” Justice Chandrachud remarked.

A case was registered against Republic TV, Fakth Marathi and Box Cinema for allegedly manipulating the Television Ratings Points (TRP) to attract more and expensive advertisements.

As per the police, few employees of Hansa Research Group Private Limited–a company working with the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC)—allegedly leaked the confidential information of location of barometers.

Police further alleged that several houses where a barometer was installed were paid monthly to watch particular channels to increase the viewership.

A FIR was registered at Kandivali Police Station under IPC section 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy.

BARC issues the TRP ratings of channels on a weekly basis based on the viewership. These ratings help the channel to attract advertisers.

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