The Khalapur court has granted bail to Republic TV journalists Anuj Kumar, Yashpaljit Singh, and Ola driver Pradeep Dilip Dhanavade on Monday after being illegally held for 138 hours by the Maharashtra police. The Court has levied a bail bond for the release of Republic TV members. At the same time, the Court has directed that there are no restrictions on their travel.
NHRC files case against Maharashtra Police
Earlier on Monday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has lodged a case in New Delhi against the Maharashtra police for illegally detaining the crew of the leading media channel. In response to the complaint filed by Republic Media Network, NHRC reiterated the high-handedness and the ‘malafide move’ of the Maharashtra police. In its fight for press freedom, the media house had written to the NHRC and was planning to approach the Bombay High Court.
In its two page petition, the news network argued that the Maharashtra police remanded the journalists in custody without permitting legal representation. The petition stated that the detention was illegal in light of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution in Article 1 (D) and Article 21 (Right to personal liberty). Republic TV argued that the Maharashtra police refused to provide remand copy, which ‘hindered’ the process of seeking bail for the journalists.
Illegal detention of Republic TV journalists
The Republic TV journalists were held by Maharashtra Police under the charges of ‘trespassing’ after they made some inquiry with a security guard at a certain residential building in Karjat, reportedly owned by Uddhav Thackeray. The channel stated that they will also approach the Bombay High Court as the Maharashtra police have attempted to interrogate Anuj and coerced him into revealing his sources.
Bombay High Court raps Maharashtra government
In a massive embarrassment to Shiv Sena, the Bombay High Court on Friday observed that party’s affiliate Shiv Cable Sena was not a ‘statutory body’ to interfere or supersede Republic TV contract with its cable network operators. According to the reports, the Bombay Court coming to the rescue of Republic Media Network said that if the cable network operators violate their contractual relationship with the network, then the channel can approach appropriate authority for relief.