Mumbai

Court refuses ad interim relief to Hansa Group against Republic TV

Republic TV editor and owner Arnab Goswami. File   | Photo Credit: Salman Ansari

In a temporary relief to the Republic TV Group, a city civil and sessions court on Wednesday refused to grant ad interim relief to the Hansa Research Group seeking restraining orders against the channel to air any details of report on Television Rating Points (TRPs) by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).

The Hansa Research Group filed a suit against ARG Outlier Media Private Limited and owner and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. The suit sought a permanent injunction order restraining the channel from broadcasting any internal document. The suit also sought a temporary injunction pending the final disposal of the suit restraining the channel to broadcast the report.

The plaint states that the BARC commissioned Hansa in 2014 to be part of TV Audience Measurement Process by installing ‘Bar-o-meters’ viz electronic meters to capture who is watching which channel. Since the tariffs for advertisement are based on viewership data, there are instances that certain channels attempt to manipulate their viewership data.”

The plaint mentions, “In order to overcome this misuse, the vigilance team of BARC and the plaintiff are constantly monitoring for any wrong-doing to influence viewers to watch a particular channel to boost the viewership data of that channel. During investigations by the vigilance team of BARC with Hansa it was found that Vishal Bhandari, former employee of Hansa, was inducing viewers to watch particular channels. Hence, deputy general manager Nitin Deokar filed a complaint on October 6.”

Internal document

The plea adds, “It appears that the said internal document prepared by Hansa, which was a draft internal document which was not shown to or approved by the Chief Executive Officer of the company for the purposes of filing the said police complaint, could have been accessed by the channel without permission or consent and telecast as ‘Hansa Report’.”

The suit states, “After the announcement by the Commissioner of Police on the TRP scam, Mr. Goswami referred to the particular document, showed parts and portions of the document on the screen again and again, and claimed that the name of Republic TV was not mentioned in the said report but the name of some other channel was there.”

The matter will be heard on November 21.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:26:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/court-refuses-ad-interim-relief-to-hansa-group-against-republic-tv/article32912276.ece

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