The Supreme Court on Thursday asked ARG Outlier Media and journalist Arnab Goswami to have faith in the Bombay High Court rather than come straight to the top court with their plea against the Mumbai police investigation in the Television Rating Point TRP scam case involving allegations of rigged viewership.
“I think your client’s office is in Worli. It is not far from Flora Fountain and the Bombay High Court. Why don’t you go there under Article 226 [of the Constitution] or under Section 482 [of the Code of Criminal Procedure to quash the FIR]…” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for ARG and Mr. Goswami In TRP Scam.
“How do we entertain a petition like this without the High Court not going into it first? You go to the High Court. We must have faith in our High Courts. They have been functioning through the pandemic,” Justice Chandrachud said.
Advocate Harish Salve appearing for the petitioners, said he would withdraw the case then and “go to Flora Fountain”.
The court agreed and gave them the liberty to approach the High Court as per the appropriate procedure of law.
The petition that has now been withdrawn challenged the October 9 summons issued to the CFO of the Republic Media Network in relation to investigation in the TRP Scam case.
The CFO had requested the Mumbai Police to halt its probe in relation to the network and its employees till the matter is heard in the Supreme Court.
Republic TV had issued a public statement asserting that the channel has not even been named in the FIR, and that only India Today has been named. It has thus questioned why it is being dragged into the case.
In its affidavit filed in response to this plea, the Mumbai Police said that Republic TV is attempting to turn the TRP scam case into a “media spectacle”, and that rights under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution cannot act be used as a shield against commission of a crime.
The affidavit states that the allegations contained in the FIR cannot be decided at this stage of the proceedings and that there is “no exceptional circumstance which warrants the interference of the Court under Article 32”.