MUMBAI: Hansa Research Group, a consumer insights company, has filed a suit against Arnab Goswami and ARG Outlier, the company which runs Republic TV, in a city civil court seeking a permanent injunction restraining the channel from broadcasting or referring to its ‘internal documents’ as ‘Hansa Report’ in stories related to the alleged TRP scam.
"Reference to the said document as ‘Hansa report’ by Goswami in his broadcast on Republic TV is causing tremendous damage to the reputation of the plaintiff,” Hansa said
In its plea to the court, Hansa has argued that the report was an internal draft, detailing the facts of the case, which was sent to the BARC vigilance team.
“This document was not shared by Hansa with anybody except the vigilance team of BARC so that proper police complaint could be formulated. It was only a draft and not even approved by the CEO of Hansa,” the plea said.
On October 8, the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had said in a press briefing that the police had busted a racket in alleged manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRP), which involved bribing people to watch Republic TV channel and two small Marathi TV channels – Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.
Singh had said that the police had received complaints from BARC India (viewership measurement agency) and Hansa–one of the vendors of BARC - about "suspicious trends” and activities. Subsequently a number of arrests have been made.
Top industry officials said that Goswami was quoting from a report which is not final and therefore is indulging in misreporting, which is why Hansa has sued the channel. Also the fact that Republic could get a copy of the draft means their reach seems to go deep into Hansa or BARC and they may have the means to influence ratings. In addition he is playing judge, jury and executioner regarding his own case on his own channel of which he is proprietor, editor and anchor. This is a big conflict of interest and against all principles of journalism, the officials cited said.
On October 10,, Republic TV aired some documents which it described as the "Hansa Report". Republic TV said that it has accessed the report whose contents, according to it, spelled the “beginning and end” of the “conspiracy”.
As per the channel, the seven-page report by Hansa Research Group, the entity that filed the Police Complaint in the TRP scam with Mumbai Police, clearly showed the name of Noida-based news channel India Today with reference to multiple instances of TRP rigging.
“It describes precisely how there was an attempt to allegedly manipulate the panel homes from which the measurement of TRPs is conducted,” Goswami’s Republic TV said.
Post broadcast of the report, Narasimhan K Swamy, director of Hansa Research, wrote to Republic TV, expressing his disappointment and regret over using Hansa’s name along with a "purported report" developed by the agency to “clear” the channel’s name of “some alleged wrong doing”, without taking permission.
“We have no intention of taking sides in your ratings related issues. Kindly refrain from using our name or any part of the purported report in future,” Swamy wrote on October 12. However, as the channel continued to use Hansa’s name , the agency decided to move to the court.
Hansa has maintained that it is in no way concerned with the conclusion arrived by the police in the TRP case. It added that in order to extricate themselves from the police investigations, the defendants are using a document, which they are calling ‘Hansa report’, without Hansa’s consent or permission.
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31 Comments on this Story
Mansi Ghai35 days ago
Apologize publicly to Arnab or find your place in Trash
Ankit Parikh38 days ago
First of all, it is not Hansa Research, Hansa Marketing. The money transaction is for Ads income that they were supposed to pay to Republic. Hansa Marketing confirmed this as well. So, its just Parambir and corrupts that are trying to spread the lies.
Simplysuperb40 days ago
A Brief History of Modern India