Maharashtra withdraws consent for CBI probe in news channels’ TRP case

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After, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh, the state of Rajasthan and Maharastra too has recently ‘closed its doors’ to the probe agency, following a complaint lodged by the UP government to launch a CBI probe into a ratings scam involving a TV channel.

A day after the CBI assumed control over a body of evidence enlisted by UP Police against “obscure” channels and people over accusations of distorting TRPs, the Maharashtra government Wednesday withdrawn “general consent” permitted for further investigation purpose.

Official sources disclosed that the move follows “misgiving” in the state government that the CBI would assume control over a case on alleged fudging of TRPs in Maharashtra in an attempt to move it away from the domain of Mumbai Police.

Subsequent to lodging an FIR on October 6, Mumbai Police had asserted that three channels, including Republic TV, were at first sight engaged with misrepresenting TRPs. Republic TV had hence moved toward the Bombay High Court, where its council representative Harish Salve appealed to transform the case to CBI.

General consent is granted by states so that the CBI can conduct its investigation and not seek the state government approval for every case — unlike the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Reportedly state govt spokesperson said CBI taking up the TRP scam registered in UP became a trigger point for Maharashtra’s decision. “It was feared that the central agency would take over the Mumbai Police investigation into the TRP scam as well”.

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