Maharashtra govt blocks CBI from probing cases in state without seeking ‘consent’

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The Maharashtra government has blocked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from probing cases in the state without seeking ‘consent’. Picture shows Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray addressing the press.

The Maharashtra government has blocked the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) from probing cases in the state without seeking ‘consent’. The government Wednesday withdrew the “general consent” granted to CBI, curtailing the agency’s powers to probe cases in the state. Now the agency will have to approach the state government for permission for investigation on any case.

This comes a day after the central probe agency registered an FIR in the TRP ‘scam’ case based on a reference from the Uttar Pradesh Police. Earlier the Hazratganj police, Lucknow had registered the case on a complaint of an advertising company promoter. However, the UP government handed over the case to the CBI.

On October 8, the Mumbai police had claimed it had busted a “racket” of “fraudulent” manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRPs) involving three channels including Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV.

Mumbai police have arrested six people in the ‘scam’.

In the past, states like Rajasthan and West Bengal had withdrawn general consent to the CBI.

TRP manipulation case

Manipulated TRP ratings adversely result in miscalculated targeted audience for the advertisers, said the firm. This further result into losses of hundreds of crores of rupees, because of the manipulated statistics of TRP, it added.

Hansa Research Group found manipulations in the TRP and approached the Mumbai police. Following their complaint, the Mumbai police arrested an ex-employee of Hansa and recovered Rs 20 lakh cash from his residence. Police also arrested his associate and recovered Rs 8 lakh in cash from his residence.

During inquiry they said that certain channels paid them money to distribute to the households, where barometers were installed, to keep the English channel on throughout the day.

The police then inquired with some of the households and found that money has been paid to them. At some places police found people not familiar with English staring at the television sets with the English channel on.

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