Pleas have been filed in the Karnataka and Bombay High Courts seeking FIR against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami after he questioned interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi in his show for her silence over the Palghar mob lynching in which two Hindu Sadhus were brutally killed by a group of 100 frenzied villagers.
The filing of petitions came on the heels of the Supreme Court order which granted the journalist protection from an arrest earlier today.
Additionally, the petitions have also sought court directive to stop broadcasting of Republic TV and ‘The Debate’, the primetime debate show anchored by Arnab Goswami.
A petition filed in Karnataka High Court seeking a ban on the broadcasting of Republic TV
The petitioner, Mohammed Arif, who filed a plea in the Karnataka High Court, has alleged in his petition that Republic TV and other channels have attributed the coronavirus outbreak in the country to the entire Muslim community after the role of Tablighi Jamaat in aiding the virus spread came to the light. Arif contended that broadcasting of such news enables stigmatisation of Muslims in the society.
The petition also cites the Supreme Court directive that instructed the media to remain responsible in its coverage of the pandemic after the centre approached the apex court seeking a bar on the media from publishing COVID-19 information without government verification.
The petition further mentions that Arnab Goswami has not only promoted communal enmity among the people but has also indulged in “shameful acts of derogatory, defamatory and name shaming on live TV”.
Furthermore, the petitioner claimed that Goswami had resorted to sharing fake news while alleging that the shameful killing of the Hindu sadhus in Palghar was a handiwork of a Christian or Muslim mob.
Citing these alleged offences, the petitioner has asked the Karnataka high court to put a ban on the broadcasting of Republic TV.
A plea submitted in Bombay High Court against Arnab Goswami and Republic TV
The plea filed in the Bombay High Court seeks an FIR against the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami, along with an interim ban on the broadcasting of his news channel. The request has been made on the grounds of falsely purveying fake news that a Muslim or a Christian mob was behind the unfortunate lynching of the Hindu sadhus.
Suraj Singh Thakur and Bhai Jagtap, the petitioners, have alleged in their petition that lynching is alleged to have been committed due to the religion of the victim, however, it was amply clear during the time of the debate that the mob consisted of members of the same religion as the victims of the lynching.
Statements such as “Italy’s Antonio Maino(Sonia Gandhi) is happy that Sadhus have been killed” were made to stir a political upheaval, the petition said.
The petitioners have alleged Arnab Goswami of promoting enmity between different religion groups by politicising and communalising the matter. In addition, the petitions also alleges that the means employed by Arnab Goswami were unethical and abusive of the true notion of the freedom of speech and the press.
Supreme Court grants protection of 3 weeks to Arnab Goswami
The Supreme Court of India today granted interim protection of three weeks to senior journalist Arnab Goswami against multiple FIRs filed against him by the Congress party in various states. The Apex court also directed to merged all FIRs into one which will be investigated in Mumbai, where the Republic TV Editor-In-Chief is based, and stayed all the FIRs till further orders.
Arnab questioned Sonia Gandhi’s silence over Palghar incident
Launching an attack against Sonia Gandhi, Arnab Goswami had questioned if she would have maintained the silence she is exhibiting today had Christian padres been killed instead of Hindu sadhus in the horrifying lynching incident in Palghar. However, soon after, Congress leaders and many journalists started abusing Arnab and by extension Prime Minister Modi implying he was responsible for Arnab questioning Sonia Gandhi’s silence.