The Congress party isn’t faring too well in its fight against Arnab Goswami. After senior party leader Kapil Sibal was grilled by the Supreme Court for photocopied FIRs across numerous states in the country, the Bombay High Court has refused to grant the demand made by Congress party members to ban Republic TV from airing across television sets. The petition for the same was filed by Bhai jagtap, a member of the Legislative Council from the Congress party, and Suraj Thakur, state president of the Maharashtra Youth Congress in the said court.
Reportedly, a plea demanded that the Editor in Chief of Republic TV should “be banned from speaking on any television channel or online platform” and his channel Republic TV should be ”be banned from airing any program and/or be taken off the air”. The Bombay High Court has rejected this demand outright. Meanwhile, a petition was filed by one Mohammed Arif Jameel, an ‘RTI activist’ from Bengaluru, in the Karnataka High Court as well.
The petition states, “Respondent No 8 (Arnab) in utmost unethical, deplorable manner, belittling the profession of journalism in repeated attempt to paint the event of mob lynching at Palhar, Maharashtra into into an communal event demonising the common man to be at fear for his life at all times; The statements made promoting hatred are a punishable offence and an assault on our constitutional values including the right to life of an entire community.”
The petition before the Bombay High Court stated, “The Respondents Nos. 3 (Arnab Goswami) and 4 (Republic TV) intentionally engaged in outright lies to paint minority religions in a negative light. Repeated claims by the Respondent No. 3 such as “award wapsi gang-mombatti gang santo ke mob lynching par khamosh hai” (the award-returning, candlelight gang is silent on the mob lynching of Hindu saints), “mob lynching ko mazhab ke chashme se dekha jaata hai” (mob lynching is merely viewed through the lens of religion), and rhetoric questioning such as “kya gerua pehenna paap hai?” (is wearing saffron a sin?).”
The Bombay High Court has refused to grant the demand made by the petitioners and Arnab Goswami is free to air his views on Republic TV. However, it doesn’t appear that the party would give up its malicious pursuit against the editor-in-chief of Republic TV. Earlier, he was also forced to sit for an interrogation with the Mumbai Police for twelve hours.
Policeman tests positive for Coronavirus
One of the policemen who interrogated Arnab Goswami for over twelve hours in April last week has now tested positive for coronavirus, senior advocate Harish Salve informed the Supreme Court while arguing for the Republic TV chief seeking quashing of the fresh FIR against him. On April 27, 2020, Arnab Goswami was questioned by Mumbai Police for over 12 hours for questioning Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi’s silence over Palghar Sadhu lynching. He was questioned after the Congress party filed more than 150 FIRs against him in various states of the country. The Supreme Court had merged all the FIRs into one and transferred to Mumbai. A week later, a fresh FIR was filed by Raza Academy.
Over the Palghar incident, Arnab, during the hearing on quashing of FIR requested that the case be transferred to the CBI for further investigation since he has made serious allegations against the local police in Palghar incident. “It’s a union vs state problem and I have become a party to this. Of course I can go to Bombay High Court, my request is that the CBI can probe and file report,” Goswami said in the court.