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The CIU of the crime branch is investigating the fake Television Rating Points (TRP) racket case.
The CIU of the crime branch is investigating the fake Television Rating Points (TRP) racket case.

TRP scam case: Republic TV CFO skips summons, cites SC hearing

S Sundaram told police that he has some pre-scheduled meetings outside Mumbai and will be available only by 14-15 of this month

Despite summons issued by the Mumbai Police, Republic TV's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) did not appear before the city police on 10 October to record his statement in connection with the TRP fraud case, saying the channel had filed a petition with the Supreme Court in the case, a senior official familiar with the development said.

S Sundaram claims that the Mumbai Police should not proceed in this case against him. He also told police that he has some pre-scheduled meetings outside Mumbai and will be available only by 14-15 of this month.

Shiva Subramaniyam Sundaram, the channel's CFO, against whom summons had been issued on Friday, also requested the police not to record his stamement saying the top court's hearing is scheduled within a week, the official said.

Madison World's Sam Balsara joins probe

However, Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director of ad agency Madison World and Madison Communications appeared before the crime branch on Saturday to join probe in the TRP scam case.

The Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai crime branch had issued summons against Sundaram and he had been asked to join the investigation at 11 am on Saturday.

"However, he did not appear before the probe team. He informed the police that the channel has approached the Supreme Court and that there will be a hearing on the matter within a week. Citing this, he requested the police not to record his statement," the official said.

The summons to Sundaram said there are reasonable grounds to believe that he is "acquainted with certain facts and circumstances of the matter and the same are required to be ascertained".

The CIU of the crime branch is investigating the fake Television Rating Points (TRP) racket case.

Besides him, the police had also summoned accountants of Marathi channels 'Fakt Marathi' and 'Box Cinema' and those of a couple of advertising agencies, he said.

On Thursday, the police had arrested four persons including owners of 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 agency that tracks television viewership, filed a complaint in this regard through Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd. BARC also alleged the numbers were being fudged by certain channels.

With agency inputs

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