Mumbai Police’s crime department on Thursday arrested 45-year-old Harish Kamlakar Patil, who labored as a vendor for tv channels, as a part of its investigation into allegations of tv ranking factors (TRP) being rigged. Patil, a Chandivli resident, is the ninth accused to be arrested within the case. He was produced earlier than a Justice of the Peace’s courtroom and has been remanded in police custody until October 26.

The alleged TRP rip-off got here to mild after the rankings company Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a police grievance alleging sure channels have been rigging TRPs with the intention to appeal to advertisers. According to the crime department, Patil is suspected of getting fraudulently elevated TRPs for sure channels. He had registered seven dummy corporations with numerous addresses in Mumbai, all in his identify. “It appears all seven companies were dummy companies and used for financial transaction by channels. We are investigating the veracity of these companies and its links with all channels and their financial transactions,” mentioned assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, of crime department. Vaze mentioned the authenticity of the seven companies was doubtful because the crime department had discovered {that a} agency owned by Patil, named Capslock Digital Solution Private Limited, was a dummy entity. “We found there was no company registered to the given address,” mentioned Vaze.

Patil can also be allegedly a detailed affiliate of needed accused, recognized as Abhishek, who additionally works as a vendor for a lot of channels together with Republic TV and runs an organization named Max Media and is suspected to have fled the town, mentioned crime department officers. “One of the five suspected channels had deposited money in Capslock Digital Solution and Abhishek had withdrawn the amount and distributed it to others, including the arrested accused Umesh Mishra and others who then gave the money to households where barometers were installed to increase TRP,” mentioned Vaze.

Abhishek makes use of a number of cellular numbers, registered utilizing cast paperwork. “Abhishek does not use phone numbers registered in his name. He does not disclose his real identity, and deals with people using fake names,” mentioned Vaze, including that considered one of Abhishek’s numbers is within the identify of somebody who died three years in the past. Kothawale additionally has two cellular numbers within the identify of arrested accused Umesh Mishra.

On Friday, crime department added 4 new sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) within the case, together with sections 212 (harbouring offender), 406 (felony breach of belief), 465 (punishment for forgery) 468 (forgery for objective of dishonest). This is the second time sections have been added to the case that was initially registered on October 6 underneath sections 420 (dishonest and dishonestly inducing supply of property), 409 (felony breach of belief), and 120B (felony conspiracy) of the IPC. On October 20, the crime department had earlier added 4 extra sections, together with sections 201 (inflicting disappearance of proof of offence, or giving false info) and 204 (destroying any doc to stop its manufacturing as proof).

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