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TRP scam: Arnab Goswami, others named in supplementary charge sheet

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Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami

The Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami, who is one of the accused in the alleged TRP scam unearthed last year, has been named in a massive 1,800-page supplementary charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police, here on Tuesday.

Goswami and the TV channel were added as accused in the TRP scam and a first information report (FIR) was lodged against them during the tenure of former Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, creating a nationwide sensation.

Besides Goswami, the other accused include some staffers/employees of the ARG Outlier Media, the COO Priya Mukherjee, Shiva Sundaram, Shivendu Mulelkar, Ranjit Walter, Amit M. Dave and Sanjay S. Verma, in the supplementary charge sheet filed with the Esplanade Metropolitan Magistrate Court.

The police have chargesheeted at least 15 persons so far in the case who include the ex-CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council Partho Dasgupta and Republic TV CEO Vikash Khanchandani, invoking charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy, destroying evidence and criminal breach of trust, etc.

In March this year, the Goswami had filed a plea in the Bombay High Court alleging serious malafides against the Mumbai Police, especially the former CoP Singh and was granted temporary reprieve from arrest.

The journalist also sought to quash the FIR of October 6, 2020 and the charge sheets in the case arguing that he was not named in the FIR or the charge sheet, but was kept in the suspect category as a harassment tactic and a vendetta.

Admitting his plea, Justice S.S. Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale had directed the police to give Goswami a 72 hours advance notice if they wanted to summon or take any coercive action against him, while the police said they would complete the probe within four months.

The case, filed in October 2020, pertained to a complaint on certain persons in whose homes the barometers were installed allegedly bribed by certain TV channels in a bid to increase their TRPs.

The Mumbai Police launched the probe after it emerged that certain employees of the Hansa Group were manipulating the TRP ratings in favour of certain TV channels.

Crime

Police says no evidence traceable in rape case against BJP MLA Ganesh Naik; files ‘a summary’ report to HC

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 The Navi Mumbai police on Friday informed the Bombay High Court it has not traced any evidence in the rape case lodged against Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Ganesh Naik and have submitted an ‘A Summary’ report to the local court.

An ‘A Summary’ report is filed in a case where the offence is made out but the evidence is not traceable or the accused persons are not found.

In April this year, a 42-year-old woman registered a case against Naik alleging he had raped and threatened her.

According to the complaint, the woman and Naik were in a live-in relationship since 1995 and they also have a child together.

Naik had, in May, approached HC seeking pre-arrest bail. He was granted interim bail at the time.

On Friday, when his plea came up for hearing before a division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and R N Laddha, additional government pleader Prajakta Shinde said the police has submitted an ‘A Summary’ report in the case in September this year.

Naik’s counsel Ashok Mundargi sought the bench to direct the local court to dispose of the matter expeditiously.

“The case has a political angle to it and in such cases the matter is kept deliberately pending. After the police submitted its report, the court issued notice to the complainant and since then the matter is pending,” Mundargi said.

The bench then directed the magistrate’s court to dispose of the case within three months. The 42 year old woman claimed in her complaint she was in a live-in relationship with Naik since 1995. They met in a club in 1993, where she was a receptionist, and fell in love.

The FIR also pointed out they had a sexual relationship and have a child. The woman alleged Naik was not treating her well and was avoiding her calls.

There were constant quarrels as well, and during one such incident Naik allegedly threatened her with a gun, as per the complaint. After this incident, she proceeded to file a complaint and an FIR was registered.

Naik had contended that for an incident which happened in 1995, the allegations were made in 2022, which was belated. He also pointed out the case was being backed by his political rivals for revenge against him.

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Crime

Shraddha murder case: Aaftab’s post-narco test concludes

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The post-narco test of Aaftab Amin Poonawalla, the accused in the ghastly murder of his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar in Delhi’s Mehrauli area, concluded on Friday. His test was conducted inside the Tihar prison by the FSL officials.

As per sources, the team from the Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini had reached Tihar jail for the post-narco test at around 11.30 a.m.

“A four-member team had reached Tihar Jail No.-4 on Friday along with the investigating officer for a post-narco analysis session of Aaftab,” said a senior FSL official.

“The test started around 12. He was again asked similar questions and his answers will be matched with the questions from the previous narco analysis session,” said the sources.

If needed, the narco test will be done again, claimed the sources.

Further details were awaited.

Meanwhile, the prison authorities have also increased the security of his barrack after the police van was attacked by men, who were armed with swords.

Though his confessions in the narco test cannot be used in the court, yet it proved that the investigators were proceeding in the right direction.

Pertinent to mention here that the findings of both polygraph and narco test are not admissible in the court. These tests will only help the Delhi Police gather evidence, and thereby increase the possibility of prosecution of the guilty.

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Crime

Shraddha murder case: Narco test process begins on Aaftab

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The process of Narco test on Aaftab Amin Poonawalla, who is an accused in the ghastly murder of his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar in Delhi’s Mehrauli area, began on Thursday morning, said Special Commissioner of Police (law & order), Sagar Preet Hooda.

According to sources, Aaftab was taken to the Ambedkar Hospital from Tihar at around 9 a.m.

Further details were awaited.

The polygraph test of Aaftab ended on Tuesday at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Rohini.

According to a senior FSL official, Aaftab’s polygraph test is now complete and a detailed report will be shared in a day or two with the Delhi Police.

The sources said that a polygraph and a narco test is imperative in this case, as Aaftab, during interrogation, was deceptive in nature and tried to mislead the interrogators.

Shraddha and Aaftab had met through the dating app ‘Bumble’ in 2018. They had come to Delhi on May 8 and shifted to the Chattarpur area on May 15. On May 18, Aaftab allegedly killed Shraddha and then chopped her body into 35 pieces and threw the body parts across various places over a period of 18 days.

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