Republic TV CEO arrested in fake TV ratings scam

On 6th November, the Mumbai Police had filed a First Information report and started investigations following a complaint filed by Nitin Deokar, an official of Hansa Research.

Republic TV chief Vikas Khanchandani is the 13th person to be arrested in the fake rating scam by the Mumbai police. The top executive has been arrested within less than a week after the Supreme Court turned down a plea from ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, which owns the Republic Media network, seeking protection for the group and its employees.

"This petition is ambitious. You want Maharashtra Police not to arrest any employee and transfer the cases to CBI. You better withdraw this," Justice DY Chandrachud had told the group, which had accused the Maharashtra Police of "hounding" the media house, it's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and its employees.

Earlier, the channel's Head of Distribution, Ghanshyam Singh, was named in the 1,400-page charge sheet and two of the accused indicated that they will become approvers in the case. The court will take a call on the matter.

The case was filed in October after Nitin Deokar, an official of Hansa Research, an agency that placed the rating metres, filed a complaint alleging the process was being manipulated.

After investigation, the Mumbai police said that the highest ratings of Republic TV were a result of tweaking ratings to get high advertising rates by bribing the households where the monitoring machines were set.

The police said the households were being paid to keep certain channels on. In each house, the people were paid ₹ 400 to ₹ 500 a month.

The charge sheet in the case names 140 witnesses, including forensic auditors and members of BARC or Broadcast Audience Research Council, which assesses ratings.

Republic TV said that the accusations were made out of vendetta by the Mumbai Police following their clash over the Sushant Singh Rajput case.

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