The supreme court told the channel to approach the Bombay High Court “like any ordinary citizen facing investigation”.
The apex court today refused to entertain a plea filed by Republic TV requesting CBI probe on alleged rigging viewership rating scam as alleged by Mumbai police. The supreme court told the channel to approach the Bombay High Court “like any ordinary citizen facing investigation”.
“You have already filed a petition in HC. The high court is already seized of the case Entertaining this petition without HC sends a message that we don’t have faith in High Courts. Like any other citizens faces the predicament of probe under Cr.P.C must go to High Court,” Justice DY Chandrachud said, who was heading the three-judge bench.
The Mumbai police, earlier, had opposed the petition filed by Republic TV, saying that the channel was making attempts to thwart the police investigations in the case.
The Mumbai police, in an advance affidavit filed in the Supreme Court late last night, said Republic TV is abusing the process of law by conducting programmes in the case and “intimidating the witnesses”.
“Republic TV’s demand to transfer the probe to CBI is misconceived. Republic TV wants to thwart the probe into fudging of TRP ratings. Media trial is against free and fair probe. Arnab Goswami (Republic TV’s editor-in-chief) is holding programmes where this case is debated at length and contacting witnesses and interfering and intimidating the witnesses,” the police had said in their affidavit.
Contending the channel’s claim on freedom of speech, the police in its affidavit said, “Freedom of speech right cannot be invoked into an alleged crime. Right under Article 19(1) freedom of speech cannot be a shield against the probe.”
A number of officials of several channels have been summoned in the case, the police added.