TRP scam: EOW finds nearly Rs 80-crore spike in revenue of one channel

Updated: 23 October, 2020 07:52 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

This income came within a span of three months from advertisements, officials say the hike could be more

A TRP case accused being produced in the Esplanade Court. File pic
A TRP case accused being produced in the Esplanade Court. File pic

THE Special Investigation Team of the Mumbai Crime Branch probing the Television Rating Points (TRP) scam, has received initial findings of bank transactions from the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) suspecting a Rs 78-80 crore spike in the revenue of one channel within a span of three months.

According to officials from Mumbai Crime Branch, the EOW team looking at the financial angle in the TRP case has found suspicious transactions in their initial report.

"There is a sudden hike within a span of three months in the revenue generated from the advertisements on one particular channel. The hike is around R78-80 crore or could be more than that. We cannot reveal the specific months in which the hike was seen but we are looking into the past five years' transactions of accused channels, and have noticed this hike in one of the accused channel's banking details," a police officer said.

Police chief Param Bir Singh, in his press briefing on October 8 said the money earned by manipulating the TRPs will be treated as proceeds of crime.

The EOW officials have also noticed that one channel had projected its TRP ratings with advertisement agencies even before its launch. "We suspect the channel was manipulating the TRPs before it was launched. The advertisement agencies will be questioned in this regard as well," the officer said.

Also Read: TRP case among many reasons for blocking CBI: Home Minister Anil Deshmukh

The SIT which has widened its investigation also suspects forgery and use of shell companies by accused channels to steer the money in this scam. Following this the Crime Branch is also adding more stringent sections of forgery Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant, punishment for forgery, forgery, forgery for purpose of cheating of the Indian Penal Code.

The Chief Financial Officer of Republic TV, Shiva Sundaram, was questioned by the SIT for the second consecutive day on Thursday and the questioning is likely to go on for next five days.

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First Published: 23 October, 2020 07:40 IST

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