A 500-page document of Whatsapp chats between Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and Broadcast Audience Research Council’s ex-Chief Executive Officer Partho Gupta is doing rounds on the internet. The first page of the document suggests that it is from a scanned copy of the charge sheet filed against Partho Gupta by the Mumbai Police.
Partho Gupta was arrested by the Mumbai Police in December in the ongoing TRP scam case and was denied bail by a Mumbai Magistrate in January.
Alongside the document, screenshots of alleged conversations between Goswami and Gupta are also being shared widely. One of the leaked screenshots shows Goswami assuring help on behalf of the office of the Prime Minister.
During one of their exchanges, Gupta asks Goswami for favors like helping him secure a position with the PMO. He also suggests influencing the ruling party leaders to block the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from implementing the installation of new digital TRP measurement software in households.
Other exchanges from the document consist of digs taken at fellow journalists like Rajat Sharma and Navika Kumar.
After the alleged leak, hashtag #ArnabExposed started trending on Twitter.
While the chats were being circulated on social media, the Bombay High Court was hearing Arnab Goswami’s challenge against the Mumbai police in the TRP Scam case.
The hearing culminated in a war of words between senior advocates Harish salve, representing ARG Outlier Media (the company behind Republic), and Kapil Sibal, representing the Mumbai police.
The petitioner, ARG Outliers, filed an application impleading Enforcement Directorate (ED) as one of the respondents in the petition, reported Live Law. ED had earlier filed a money-laundering complaint about TRP rigging. Salve argued that if the findings of ED are different from those of the Mumbai Police, it could be concluded that the Mumbai Police is acting with malice against Arnab Goswami.
Advocate Kapil Sibal severely objected to ED’s appearance in the matter. “Why is your enthusiasm more apparent? Obviously, you want to support him,” said Sibal. This resulted in an exchange of words between the senior advocates. The hearing has been adjourned as Sibal sought time to respond to arguments concerning the Mumbai Police’s lack of jurisdiction to investigate the case. The next hearing is scheduled for January 2020.