Arnab Goswami, the Republic TV chief has been hounded by the Congress party for weeks now. First, a physical assault on Arnab Goswami and his wife by two Congress goons was reported, then, a flurry of FIRs was filed against him and he was made to sit in the police station for over 12 hours under the pretext of ‘interrogation’. Now, concerns are being raised about the fact that one of the police officers who interrogated Goswami has been tested positive for Coronavirus. It may be recalled that Arnab had requested that he be questioned through video conferencing exactly for this reason, with Mumbai being a hotspot, and that request was denied. One of the cases filed against Arnab Goswami is by the Raza Academy. It charges him with fanning “communal hate” while he was reporting the Palghar mob lynching of two sadhus. It comes as no surprise that the lawyer representing Raza Academy is senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
During the hearing of the plea by Arnab Goswami for quashing the case against him filed by Raza Academy for “spreading communal disharmony”, Harish Salve, the advocate representing Arnab Goswami stated that considering the serious allegations made by Arnab Goswami against the police in the handling of the Palghar mob lynching case, they will have no problem if the investigation of the case is transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
To that, Kapil Sibal raised a strange objection.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal interjects, Then in that case [if investigation gets transferred to CBI] , Investigation will go into your hands!— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) May 11, 2020
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta objects, says he has serious reservations against this statement.@KapilSibal #ArnabGoswami
Kapil Sibal, who was representing the Reza Academy, said that transferring the case to CBI would mean that the “Investigation will go into your hands”.
What that statement would mean is that Kapil Sibal wants Arnab Goswami to be “investigated” by the Congress party or agencies that Congress parties can control unquestionably.
Harish Salve in this hearing even went on to say that the comment by Kapil Sibal proved that this investigation into Arnab was politically motivated since he wants ‘his people” to investigate Arnab.
Harish Salve said, “Mr Sibal’s statement shows the need to transfer the case to CBI. This is a political problem between state and centre and I (Arnab Goswami) have been caught in a crossfire”
The Mumbai Police’s conduct has been questionable through the Arnab fiasco and all for his comments against Sonia Gandhi. Firstly, there was no justification to make a journalist sit in the police station for interrogation for over 12 hours when there is a pandemic that needs to be dealt with and also, Mumbai is the city that is most affected by it. Further, when the assault against Arnab Goswami and his wife happened, it is pertinent to note that the Mumbai Police refused to add that the goons belonged to Congress even though their affiliation was apparent. They even had photographs with Congress leader Malikkarjun Kharge, proving their association with the party.
The CBI, being the premier investigative institution of the country, is one that at least those who are entrusted with governance should have faith in. But the fact remains that Arnab is being hounded by the Congress because he chose to question Sonia Gandhi and break the long-established Omertà amongst the media.
So miffed was Congress with the comments against Sonia Gandhi, that Kapil Sibal, a leader of the party that today talks about the right to dissent being paramount, claimed that Arnab Goswami was indulging in “communal violence”. It is interesting that Congress is now resorting to branding mere works and questions to Sonia Gandhi as “violence”.
Further, Sibal made another strange comment.
"Stop this communal violence and communal mongering. Decency and morality you [#arnabgoswami] need to follow. You are stigmatising people by way of sensationalising things. Making allegations against Congress. Clearly communal" – Senior Adv @KapilSibal @INCIndia @republic— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) May 11, 2020
He equated “making allegations against Congress” as “communal”. It appears incomprehensible why Sibal would equate the two and it is entirely possible that he meant something completely different which was lost in translation. However, his statement nonetheless proves that for the Congress, Sonia Gandhi is beyond reproach and questions from the media and anybody daring to do so will be hounded with the party using its state machinery and non-state actors to hound the journalist.