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Television rating agency To Pause News Channel Ratings amid controversy

After the revelation of Republic TV TRP Scam, the Television ratings agency BARC has decided to pause weekly ratings for news channels for the next three months in order to “review and augment the current standards” of data after a huge controversy over the alleged rigging of viewership ratings by three channels.

Republic TV, had also gone to the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the allegations raised by the Mumbai police.

The Supreme Court Thursday directed Republic TV to approach the Bombay High Court with its petition in connection with the alleged Television Rating Point (TRP) scam. Republic TV’s Chief Financial Officer Shiva Sundaram had challenging the summons issued by the Mumbai Police to the TV channel in connection with the case.

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“We must have faith in our HCs”, Justice D Y Chandrachud said during the hearing, adding that it would be inappropriate for the apex court to hear the case before the HC.
Justice Chandrachud was heading the bench that also comprised Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.

During the hearing, the Mumbai Police opposed Republic TV’s petition, saying Article 19(1)(a) couldn’t be invoked to sidestep, thwart and prevent an investigation by competent authorities in the matter.

The Mumbai Police is probing the “fraudulent” manipulation of TRPs involving three channels — Republic, Fakt Marathi, and Box Cinema — mainly in the city.

“We found that some channels were paying former employees of agency Hansa Research Group, which is contracted by BARC to carry out the research, to manipulate TRPs in their favor. This is mainly in the Mumbai region,” Singh said. “They, in turn, were paying certain households selected for putting up BAR-o-meters to keep certain channels like Republic switched on to show higher TRPs,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said earlier in October.

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