The TV Today Network on Thursday withdrew its petition seeking stay on the release of BARC data on Republic TVs ratings accusing the channel of running on dual feed, after the Delhi High Court refused to give it a hearing.
In a prayer filed before the court under the civil extraordinary writ jurisdiction, TV Today had sought the urgent hearing of the matter on May 17, a day before BARC released the data for week 19 (May 6 – 12, 2017).
However, later commenting on the issue, TV today network released a statement stating that the petition was withdrawn after Republic TV categorically assured Delhi High Court that it does not do multiple placing of its channels in different genres.
“The court has taken the statement on record. The Delhi High Court also notes ongoing TRAI investigation against channels allegedly doing so. On basis of this specific assurance by Republic TV, India Today withdrew its writ petition,” reads the statement issued by TV Today.
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 & 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 23 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.