Mumbai, Oct 10 (PTI) The crime branch of Mumbai Police on Saturday issued summons to Republic TV’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and two Chief Operating Officers (COO) for questioning in the fake TRP racket case, an official said.
Earlier in the day, Republic TV’s Chief Finance Officer Shiva Subramaniyam Sundaram and another official Ghanshyam Singh chose to not appear before the probe team saying that the news channel has approached to Supreme Court.
CEO Vikas Khanchandani and COOs Priya Mukharjee and Hersh Bhandari have been now asked to remain present before the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai crime branch on Sunday, a senior police officer told PTI.
Two officials of Republic Media Network (Sundaram and Singh) did not comply with the summons, citing a petition filed in the Supreme Court, but there has been no order from the apex court not to investigate the case, the latest summons said.
Since these two persons also mentioned in their reply that the company had advised them not to appear before police, “it is necessary to record your statement in this regard”, the summons to the CEO and two others said.
While CFO Sundaram did not appear, the police recorded the statement of Madison World and Madison Communications chairman Sam Balsara on Saturday, an official said.
Balsara was at the crime branch office for more than eight hours, he said, adding that statements of accountants of Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi TV were also recorded.
Sundaram, in his reply to the summons issued to him on Friday, claimed that a hearing before the apex court is scheduled within a week.
The CIU of the crime branch is investigating a fake Television Rating Points (TRP) racket.
On Thursday, the police had arrested four persons including owners of Marathi channels Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema in the case.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed that three channels including Republic TV manipulated the TRP.
The racket came to light when the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), an organization which measures TRP, filed a complaint in this regard through Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd, the police said.