The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to admit Republic TV’s petition seeking a CBI probe into allegations of TRP manipulations and said that the channel should instead approach the Bombay High Court “like any other citizen facing investigation”.
“You have already filed petition in high court. Entertaining this petition without high court sends message that we don’t have faith in high courts. Like any other citizens faces predicament of probe under CrPC must go to high court,” said Justice DY Chandrachud.
The apex court said that it was concerned over recent interviews by police commissioners to the media.
“We are concerned with the tendency of Police commissioner to give interviews now a days,” Justice Chandrachud said.
Republic TV has now withdrawn its plea from the top court.
A three-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee was hearing the petition through a video link.
Mumbai Police in its advance petition to the Supreme Court opposing the petition had said that the channel was making attempts to thwart the police investigations in the case.
“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 Mumbai Police said in the affidavit.
“Freedom of speech right cannot be invoked into an alleged crime. Right under Article 19(1) freedom of speech cannot be a shield against probe,” it said.
The police also said that a number of officials of several channels have been summoned in the case.