Amid the ongoing discord between Republic TV Network and Mumbai Police over the TRP scam case, Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Republic TV will sue Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh for Rs 200 crore in damages, said a statement released by the channel.
The development is the result of the statement given by Maharashtra Government’s counsel Kapil Sibal in the Bombay High Court that the FIR does not name Republic or Goswami while arguing that there is no need for quashing the FIR and protecting Goswami from arrest.
It is necessary to mention that what Sibal told the court was in the public domain since the day Police Commissioner held the press conference. Republic first accessed the FIR copy, which had no mention of the channel, then waved Hansa’s letter, which was the basis of the FIR, and then BARC CEO Sunil Lulla’s email was made public.
According to the statement, Mumbai Police contradicted the commissioner's statements in the Bombay High Court during a hearing of the case and said Republic is not named in the FIR in the TRP case.
“Contradicting their own Police Commissioner, the Mumbai Police and Maharashtra Government lawyer today in the Bombay High Court admitted that Republic is not named in the FIR in the TRP case, and seemed to distance itself from the allegations made by the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Following this admission by the Maharashtra Government in open court, Arnab Goswami has directed that he will take every legal action against Param Bir Singh (and others if so required) and seek damages via a defamation suit,” said the statement.
The statement said Republic will file a contempt petition against the Special Executive Magistrate and Assistant Police Commissioner, Sudhir Jambwadekar, for initiating chapter proceedings with respect to FIRs that have been suspended by the orders of the Bombay High Court.
Earlier, Commissioner Param Bir Singh in a press conference had told the media that the police had busted a TRP racket on BARC’s complaints, naming Republic TV and other two Marathi channels, and accused them of paying households with bar-o-meters to keep watching their channels to increase their viewership.
Republic TV in its response said it is an attempt to defame the channel, seeking revenge for the coverage of the Sushant Singh Rajput and the Palghar cases. Republic Media Network had approached the Bombay High Court to quash the FIR filed by Mumbai Police in the case. The Bombay High Court will now hear the petition on November 5, 2020.