The CBI has filed a chargesheet against former BARC CEO Sunil Lulla for allegedly manipulating viewership ratings of channels from "his ends" during his tenure in the ratings agency, officials said Tuesday.
During the probe that was started on a complaint from a Lucknow-based advertiser, the CBI did not find any evidence of alleged manipulation being done at the customer level by channels, they said.
The alleged manipulation in TV ratings took place at the level of Lulla when he was heading the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), according to the agency charge sheet filed at a special CBI court in Lucknow.
Sources refused to share details of the charge sheet as the special court is yet to take cognizance of it.
The agency has pressed charges under IPC sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and others. The court will take cognisance of the charge sheet on December 15, for which it has issued summons to Lulla.
The case, which was earlier registered at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on a complaint of an advertising company promoter, was handed over to the CBI by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Lulla has denied the charges.
“Sunil Lulla has been a high integrity professional in his entire career and has an unblemished track record. His conduct has been as per BARC policies and procedures and all the allegations made against him are totally false. We have complete faith in the rule of law and the Honourable courts," a spokesperson for Lulla said in a statement.