How can Police pronounce verdict of guilt when it has not even registered an FIR and commenced investigation?
Republic TV is a free to air Indian news channel launched in May 2017. It was co-founded by and Arnab Goswami and ruling party BJP’s MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who relinquished his stake in May 2019, leaving Goswami the majority stakeholder. Mumbai Police had earlier registered an FIR and summoned Arnab and his CFO after he had called Sonia Gandhi the President of Congress Party by her maiden name Antonio Maino.
AajTak is part of India Today group which was founded with a magazine in 1975-76, during emergency when other magazines were shutting shop due to press censorship. Aroon Purie was founder of this magzine though he was named as publisher and his father as owner. Read about Aroon Purie, here on wikipedia.
On 2 February 2019, Arnab launched Republic Bharat as it Hindi Channel in direct conflict with Aaj Tak which was number one on TRP ratings. Both Channels are engaged in TRP war for last three months. While English Republic TV has acquired 77% ratings demolishing all other English news channels, it has also overtaken Hindi Aaj Tak by it’s Bharat and is at the top now for over one month. This means huge revenue fall for other TV Channels.
Yesterday Republic targeted directly by showing that it was helping possible rioters in Hathras (U.P.). Due to it’s sting operation a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, de facto President of Congress Party has been arrested. The retaliation was over due as Maharashtra is ruled by Congress Party in alliance with two parties.
Today Mumbai Police Commissioner held a press conference and without mincing words pronounced Arnab and his channel guilty of criminal conspiracy to manipulate TRP ratings by bribing the users. But the official press release(quoted at the bottom) states that it is only a Preliminary Enquiry. But here lies a problem. Before pronouncing guilt there has to be trial and before that there has to be investigation. But if the matter is at Preliminary Enquiry it means police is still trying to ascertain the veracity of complaint. Once complaint is found truth worthy an FIR will be registered and then criminal investigation will start. Read more about the criminal investigation in my book on the subject of Crime Investigation here.
How can Mumbai police Commission who is an educated IPS officer can hold press conference on the basis of ongoing preliminary enquiry? This is legally inappropriate if not wrong. How Police Official can be so outright in it’s political correctness?
India Today named in FIR:
At 9 pm, Arnab Goswami on his TV show declared that there is a named FIR dated 6 October, 2020 but Police Commissioner ignored it and relied on heresy to accuse him of manipulation. This the statement of Arnab:
“The Mumbai Police Commissioner has been completely and totally exposed. A copy of the FIR in the TRP case mentions India Today as the channel to be investigated. In fact, India Today has been mentioned multiple times in the FIR. There is not a single mention of Republic TV. Now, the main witness in the case has also gone on record and named India Today as the English channel for which financial compensation was allegedly provided to gain viewership. The complaint against India Today was made on October 6. Param Bir Singh closes the investigation against India Today within 16 hours and does a press conference against Republic TV. Now, that the FIR is out and the critical witness is on record, and the Mumbai Police Commissioner has been caught red-handed. He must, in the interest of morality, quit.”Republic TV website
A copy of FIR against India TV is published here on Hindi web site.
If above statement is true than the conduct of Mumbai Police is not just biased but outrageously one sided.