TRP case: HC reserves verdict on ex-BARC CEO's bail plea

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Mumbai, Feb 16 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the bail plea filed by former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, an accused in the TRP scam.

During the day's hearing, Mumbai police opposed the bail plea with special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray telling a single bench presided over by Justice PD Naik that Dasgupta was not answering even the simplest of questions while in jail despite being given a questionnaire.

He also said Dasgupta was an influential person and could tamper with evidence if let out on bail.

'He is the kingpin and the one who holds considerable power,' Hiray said, and told HC it was apparent from Dasgupta's WhatsApp chats that he had played a direct role in the manipulation of TRPs for TV news channels.

On Monday, Dasgupta's counsel, senior advocate Abad Ponda, had urged HC to grant him bail saying the police had already filed its charge sheet in the case and Dasgupta's custodial interrogation was not required anymore.

Ponda had also told HC that Dasgupta's WhatsApp chats, including those with Republic TV editor-in-chief and his co- accused Arnab Goswami, were merely 'loose talks'.

Ponda ended his argument on Tuesday by citing a WhatsApp chat between Dasgupta and Goswami to show that the allegations against his client were false.

In the chat between Dasgupta and Goswami, the former tells the latter that he will be his 'friend' but would not 'not compromise' on his values.

'You (Goswami) have too many enemies....I (Dasgupta) will be your friend....but not compromise my values,' the chat cited by Ponda in HC read.

Dasgupta approached HC after his bail plea was rejected by a city court in January this year. PTI AYA BNM BNM