Dasgupta has been accused of receiving US $12,000 and Rs. 40 lakh cash from Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswamifor manipulating TRPs for his channel. During the bail hearing Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hirey relied heavily on a BARC forensic audit report which accuses several news channels, including Republic and AajTak of TRP manipulation through ex-BARC's top executives, including Dasgupta. WhatApp chats allegedly between him and Arnab Goswami and statements of witnessesare also being reflected in the report. Arguments:
- Senior Advocate AabadPonda, appearing on behalf Dasgupta, vehemently argued that his client's further detention was not required.
- He submitted that his client has paid Rs. 10 crore Income Tax over the last three years which shows that he did not need to manipulate TRPs for a pittance. He dismissed the WhatsApp chats to be loose talk.
Ponda closed his arguments citing a WhatsApp chat, from August 20, 2019, where Dasgupta allegedly tells Goswami in the chat that:
- The advocate also argued that the alleged offence was triable by a Metropolitan Magistrate Court and every other accused, including BARC COO Romil Ramgharia, were already granted bail. He submitted that according to the audit report, Ramgharia has indulged in actual TRP manipulation whereas he is only accused of turning a blind eye toward it.
“You have too many enemies. But I will be your friend- whichever role I am in, but not compromise my values. Goodnight.”Final judgment:
Justice Naik sought to know more about the alleged Pulwama conversation between Goswami and Dasgupta, and if a separate offence had been registered after the revelation of the chat. The prosecutor responded in the negative.
After taking all the facts of the case in consideration, Justice PD Naik granted bail to the Ex-BARC CEO. Dashupta is permitted to execute provisional cash bail of 2 Lakhs for a period of 6 weeks.