Mumbai: The Republic TV has sent a legal notice to the Indian Express, asking them to stop reporting fake and unsubstantiated news against the channel in connection with the alleged TRP scam.
According to LiveLaw, The channel strongly opposed the news published by the Indian Express on 25th January, where it is claimed that Arnab Goswami, Editor In chief, Republic TV bribed former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta to raise their TRP rankings.
In the legal notice, sent through Phoenix Legal, it is stated that the report by Indian Express with the headline “Arnab Goswami paid me $12,000 and Rs 40 lakh to fix ratings: Partho Dasgupta” is a vexatious campaign to tarnish the reputation of the Republic TV and is intended to further Indian Express’ own commercial and corporate interests through sensationalism. The notice states, “The very headline of your news report would mislead any reader into wrongly believing that, as a matter of fact, payments were made by our client, Mr. Goswami to Mr. Partho Dasgupta. Such a headline is squarely deliberate and mischievous.”
Also, it is stated that Indian Express deliberately omitted to mention in their report that the above statement was extracted by the Mumbai police from Mr. Partho Dasgupta under coercion and duress, is inadmissible in law, and has already been denied by Mr. Dasgupta himself.
According to Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act, a confession made to a police-officer shall never be proved as against a person accused of any offence, and under Section 26 it is clear that it is only when a confession is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate should be considered valid.
The notice states that in the Bail application filed by Mr. Dasgupta on 6 January 2021 before the Sessions Court, Mumbai, it is clearly stated that there was no manipulation of TRP by the Republic Media Network.
The notice further stated, “You have acted as a judge, jury and executioner in breach of all journalistic ethics and against the well-settled law. By concealing material facts, pronouncing our client guilty of TRP manipulation, even though the matter is pending investigation and is also sub judice, your assertions amount to criminal contempt of court. The news report is a vile, hateful, malicious attempt by you and part of a severely prejudicial campaign engineered and implemented by the Indian Express aimed at attempting to irreparably destroy their (Republic TV’s) reputation as well as the reputation of the Republic Media network.”
Republic TV asked Indian Express for an unconditional public apology and issue a corrigendum clarifying the facts.