Hansa Research moves Bombay HC to transfer probe in TRP case to CBI, CID

ANI
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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 5 (ANI): Hansa Research Group Private Limited, the research service provider on whose complaint an FIR was registered in the TRP case, has moved the Bombay High Court accusing the officers of Mumbai Police Crime Branch of pressurising its employees to "disown" a report, which was used by the Republic TV to declare that it was not among the channels named in the matter.

The plea, filed by Hansa Research Group, its Director Narasimhan Swamy, CEO Praveen Nijhara and Deputy General Manager Nitin Deokar on Tuesday, sought transfer of investigation in the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), CID or other appropriate agency.

It said that several employees of the petitioner company were repeatedly called to the Crime Branch office, and pressurised and threatened by arrest and indefinite incarceration to make a "false statement" disowning the report referred to as "Hansa report" on Republic TV.

The plea said that the employees of the petitioner company repeatedly told the officers that they could neither confirm nor deny the report unless they were provided with a complete copy of the same and allowed to compare it with the original internal note.

The company mentioned that they have asked the channel to refrain from using the report since they were not asked for permission for the use of the same. They had also moved a city civil court last month seeking an order to restrain Republic TV from citing the report as 'Hansa Report'. However, the civil court had refused to grant an injunction.

"It is a known fact that there is a battle-like situation between Mumbai Police and certain section from the media for the last few months where an open war of words can be seen and heard every day. It is evident that the petitioners are being used by the police and certain section of the media as means to attack each other and petitioners are suffering from collateral damage in the fight," the petition said.

It said that the petitioners are continuously held at the Crime Branch for long hours and threatened with arrest and are repeatedly pressed to make a false statement.

The plea also sought to stay all further proceedings including the investigation in the case pending the final hearing of the matter and sought directions to the police to not take any step coercive or otherwise against the petitioners.

Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd had filed a complaint, on the basis of which an FIR was registered against its employee Vishal Bhandari on October 6 this year for allegedly illegally accepting payments to make certain households watch specific TV channels in a bid to fudge TV TRP ratings. So far, ten persons have been arrested in the matter. (ANI)