The Maharashtra assembly has sent a privilege motion against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for his continuous attack on the Maharashtra govt in the Sushant Singh Rajput case. The 60-page privilege notice against Arnab Goswami was sent after privilege motions were moved against him by Shiv Sena in the both houses in Maharashtra.
The notice says that Arnab Goswami has breached the privileges of the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra, and has threaten to jail him if he does not apologise.
A privilege motion can be moved if an individual or authority violates or disregards any of the privileges, powers, and immunities of the House concerned or members of the House or Committee. What amounts to breach of privilege or contempt is decided by the house and the punishment is also decided by it.
It may be noted that only the speeches made by members in parliament or assembly are protected by privilege law. Arnab Goswami criticised the ministers of the Maharashtra state govt, not the MLAs and MLCs, therefore the notice may not be according to the law.
Arnab Goswami responds
In response to the privilege motion moved against him, Goswami had released a statement. He said that Maharashtra assembly has sent him a notice threatening to jail him, but he will continue to question Uddhav Thackeray and elected representatives, and he will continue to fight them. He added that he has decided to contest the notice.
The full text of the statement is given below:
I want to speak to the people of India. The Maharashtra assembly has sent me a 60-page letter asking me why I am questioning the chief minister, and threatening me with jail and breach of privilege. I have decided to fight this. I will continue to question Uddhav Thackeray and elected representatives and I will continue to fight them. I will fight them in the court, but never give in to such undemocratic practices. The constitution is not a gift given to anyone, it is the right of every citizen. I will continue to uphold that right, ask my questions and exercise the right to report.
Two privilege motions against Arnab Goswami
Two privilege motions were earlier moved in Maharashtra Assembly and the Legislative Council each. The motions were reportedly moved against Goswami over his allegedly ‘objectionable’ statements against the Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar made in relation to the mysterious death of the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The motion in the Maharashtra Assembly was moved by MLA Pratap Sarnaik and the motion in the Legislative Council was movied by Shiv Sena’s Manisha Kayande. Sarnaik said that Goswami made ‘false allegations without any evidence’ against the Maharashtra govt in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
A motion against actress Kangana Ranaut was also reportedly moved by Congress leader Ashok Jagtap for her comments equating Maharashtra with PoK. Addressing the Assembly Sarnaik had termed Goswami’s alleged comments as ‘mocking’ the democracy.