It has now emerged that prior to pulling out of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), TV Today Network made one last ditch effort by approaching the Delhi High Court to prevent the publication of Republic TV’s ratings. In a prayer filed before the court under the civil extraordinary writ jurisdiction, TV Today sought the urgent hearing of the matter on May 17, a day before BARC released the data for week 19 (May 6–12, 2017).
Represented by the legal firm LPJ Partners & LLP, the petition was brought forward in court through TV Today’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Dr Puneet Jain. The plea alleged that Republic TV was running on multiple logical channel numbers (LCNs) in contravention of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) Regulations, 2017. The same was termed as “unlawful” and “unethical”, by TV Today.
Accusing Arnab Goswami’s channel of trying to artificially hike its television ratings, the petitioner pleaded the court to prevent BARC (respondent 3) from releasing the weekly ratings. While the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry was listed as respondent 1, TRAI and ARG Outlier Media were respondents 3 and 4, respectively.
The plea ultimately came up for hearing on May 24 in the court of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, wherein Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Sinhgvi argued on behalf of TV Today. On the other hand, Republic was represented by counsel Ramji Srinivasan as instructed by Phoenix Legal. The matter is likely to be given hearing once again today.