The CBI has registered an FIR in a case of alleged manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRP), based on a complaint filed in Uttar Pradesh.
The case, which was earlier registered at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow based on a complaint of an advertising company promoter, was handed over to the CBI by the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday.
According to officials the primary allegations relate to manipulation of TRPs in return for payment. The CBI officials refused to give any further details.
The move comes at a time when the Mumbai Police is also investigating alleged TRP manipulation by three channels, including Republic TV, in a similar case.
A senior UP home department official said the case was referred to the CBI on the recommendation of the director general of police (DGP).
“The TRP scam is not limited to UP only and involves groups and people spread across several states, according to the FIR. Hence a central agency would be best suited to investigate such a case,” the official said.
“The CBI has registered a case at the request of the UP government and following a notification from the government of India about taking over the investigation of the case earlier registered by Hazratganj police station in Lucknow,” said a senior CBI officer, associated with the case.
The FIR was lodged on October 17 on the basis of the complaint of one Kamal Sharma, who is described as a regional director in a media and advertising agency but was kept under wraps till the CBI eventually took over the probe on Tuesday night.
Television rating points (TRPs) are calculated in India by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) using a device called Bar-O-Meter, which is installed in over 45,000 households across the country. The device collects data about a program or channel watched by members of these households on the basis of which weekly ratings are issued by BARC.