Apex Court postpones hearing of bail plea of former BARC CEO

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court on Thursday postponed the hearing of interim bail plea filed by Partho Dasgupta, former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), who was arrested in the alleged TRP rigging case.

Dasgupta’s plea, seeking interim bail on medical grounds was listed before the Apex Court bench headed by Justice NV Ramana.

However, the bench postponed the hearing of the case as it was requested by the party.

Dasgupta is admitted in Mumbai’s JJ Hospital due to health related issues.

Earlier, he has been lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai.

Meanwhile, a bail application has also been placed before the Bombay High Court.

On January 20, the Mumbai sessions court had rejected the bail plea of Dasgupta, observing that the former top BARC official appears to be the mastermind of the Television Rating Point (TRP) manipulation scam.

Counsels, on behalf of Dasgupta had submitted to the sessions court that other persons arrested in the case had been granted bail and he too should be released on bail.

‘It is true that 14 accused were released by Ld ACMM on bail but the case paper in the present crime reflect that the accused is the mastermind of the entire crime and he was acting in a capacity of CEO to manipulate the television rating through mechanical device,’ the Mumbai sessions court had noted in its order.

The prosecution had relied heavily on the WhatsApp chats between Dasgupta and TV channel owners, which is part of the supplementary charge sheet filed by police. The court, while rejecting the bail, observed that the accused used coded words in their conversations on chat, which only the accused can explain. Hence, the sessions court held that a face-to-face investigation is required in this case.

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