After once before being arrested by the Banjara Hills Police Station, another fresh case of cheating has been registered against former TV9 CEO Ravi Prakash. Consequently, he was taken into custody by the Cyberabad police in Hyderabad. In the earlier case post the arrest, he was lodged in the Chanchalguda prison but was about to be released on bail before another matter cropped up. The case had taken shape on a police complaint by the director of the Associated Broadcasting Company Private Limited (ABCL), which is the promoter of TV9. The allegation pertained to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 18 crore from the company’s bank account. On Thursday, Ravi was granted a conditional bail, for which he was arrested on October 5, with direction to deposit security worth Rs. 1 lakh and to seek permission before leaving the city.
What Ravi Prakash had in an earlier statement termed as ‘hostile takeover’, was rather an ongoing conflict between the ABCL Board and Ravi Prakash. The dispute arose when TV9 was taken over by Alanda Media. The company had accused Ravi to block the attempt of Alanda Media taking over TV9 with ‘’malafide intentions’. In pursuance with the already ongoing conflict, ABCL’s board revoked all powers vested in Ravi Prakash, and he was forced to step down as the CEO.
As per a report of The Indian Express, a fresh case was registered for creating a fake identity card. The complaint was registered back in May from iVision Media India Pvt Ltd, owned by iLabs Group, which previously had a stake in TV9. The complaint stated that a person had leaked the confidential documents of the organisation by the name Natrajan. After due investigation, the police has revealed that Ravi Prakash was involved in the leak. iLabs Group has stated in their complaint that their office has received a courier containing the documents of a case currently pending before the National Companies Law Tribunal [NCLT]. After perusal of the papers obtained in courier, the company found that someone named Natraj has leaked confidential information in the form of a mail.
The Cyberabad Police took him into custody on October 17 based on a PT warrant and post-questioning he was produced in the before the IX additional Metropolitan Magistrate court in Miyapur. The Metropolitan Magistrate, remanded Ravi Prakash to judicial custody till October 30, for further investigation and enquiry.
As per a report of the Hans India, another complaint was filed against Ravi Prakash for publishing false reports on the Tolivelugu website.
Seen as an attack on the freedom of press:
The arrest of Ravi Prakash has been widely condemned and is seen to be harassment of his press freedom. A global non-profit organisation, the Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ] has criticised the arrest of Ravi Prakash. Via their press release, they have demanded that Mr. Prakash should be released immediately and the action of arresting him in the first place is a case of ‘clear harassment and intimidation’. CPJ is known to work towards the protection of press freedom and related events.
Controversial interviews against the chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao suggesting his involvement in a corruption case:
The organisation has issued a statement against his arrest stating that the move is political and has come as a ‘retaliation’ as he previously did two interviews on his news portal, accusing the present chief minister of Telangana, Mr. K. Chandrashekhar Rao, of corruption in the capacity of his role of an industrialist. The report has mentioned that in one of the two interviews, E Aswathama Reddy a transport union leader has alleged chief minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao and industrialist PV Krishna Reddy of being convoluted ‘in a multi-million dollar public transport scam’. In the other interview, it shows the opposition leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka making allegations of corruption in a vast irrigation project in Kaleshwaram, Telangana, against both Rao and Reddy.
Previously, a reporter for Tolivelugu was approached by the associates of the industrialists, requesting to pull down the interview or removing it from the public view. Moreover, once before Krishna Reddy had called Ravi Prakash with the same demand of pulling the interview of the internet. Ravi Prakash was not agreeing to the offers being made to him and continued to keep the videos online.