ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd which owns Republic TV and its Chief Arnab Goswami have filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court seeking directions for quashing of FIR against the channel and its employees in the TRP scam case. Moreover, directions for transfer of investigation in the said case to the Central Bureau of Investigation have also been sought.
On Thursday the Supreme Court asked the petitioners to approach the High Court and refused to entertain their writ petition seeking to quash the summons issued by the Mumbai police in the TRP scam case.
The present petition filed on Friday also seeks investigation by the CBI against the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh as well as to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the service rules against him for "gross dereliction of duty and abuse of power."
The FIR was registered at Kandivali police station, under Sections 409, 420, 120-B and 34 the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (later transferred to DCB, CID, Crime Branch, Mumbai).
The petitioners have sought transfer of investigation in the TRP scam to CBI stating-
"The investigation will have a pan-India effect of various stakeholders including cable TV operators, broadcasters, media agencies, advertisers and all other stakeholders and criminal culpability of any magnitude requires pan-India investigation by a reputed agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation ("CBI") to unearth the real conspiracy and alleged malpractices of any stakeholder. It is important to entrust the investigation to centralized agency to repose faith of all stakeholders and any investigation to be carried out by Respondent Nos. 1 to 4 in a premeditated and pre-planned manner to implicate the Petitioners not only will have a ripple effect on the TV industry but also set a very wrong precedent on the scope of such investigation to be carried out in future as well. It is pertinent to highlight that the framers of the Constitution of India consciously incorporated the subject-matter relating to post, telegraph and broadcasting and other forms of communication under List I of Schedule VII of the Constitution as Entry No 31. Therefore, viewed from any angle and to uphold the federal structure of our Constitution, it is of paramount 30 importance to entrust investigation relating to a the subject-matter falling under this list to a centralized agency such as CBI."