The Maharashtra government on Wednesday has withdrawn the general consent it extended to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct probe in the state.
The move triggers a fresh rift between state ruling Shiv Sena and its former ally BJP in Centre as the later now needs to get the state government’s permission to conduct investigations in the state.
Maharashtra joins the league of opposition-ruled states which has withdrawn the general consent for CBI probe which include Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and more recently, Rajasthan.
Interestingly, the Maharashtra government’s move also comes hours after the CBI filed a case to investigate the ratings scam on the basis of a complaint filed in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
A few weeks ago, the Mumbai Police had said that three channels including Republic TV are being investigated for ratings or TRP manipulation.
Addressing a press conference, Mumbai police chief Paramvir Singh had said “Police are probing a scam involving manipulation of TRPs. identified three channels, including Republic-TV which is reportedly involved in distorting the apparatus used by BARC to rate television channels.”
“The bank accounts of the channels would be investigated, besides the funds, they receive from advertisers and whether they are from proceeds of crimes,” he added.
“Household data were used by the channels for ratings manipulation and they received illegal advertising funds. This will be considered proceeds of cheating,” he said.
“There was false TRP spreading. TRP ratings were being bought. The manipulation was mainly for advertising revenues,” he said.
“As part of this, households were told to keep a certain channel switched on all the time. Illiterate homes were asked to keep English channels on. The households were offered monthly payments of Rs 4-500 in return,” Singh had contended.