Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra Government’s witch-hunt Republic TV seems to be just getting filthier. A day after the channels consulting editor Pradeep Bhandari was granted an anticipatory bail against a non-bailable complaint, he has been once again summoned by the Mumbai police to appear before the court on October 22. The Republic TV senior journalist wrote on Twitter that he who is currently in Bihar, analysing the upcoming Assembly elections, would be leaving for Mumbai today and will be reaching Khar police station tomorrow.
Friends,— Pradeep Bhandari(प्रदीप भंडारी) (@pradip103) October 16, 2020
Mumbai police is eager to call me to the station. I will be reaching Khar police station tomorrow. They have issued me another summon for 22nd. Armed with facts, I am leaving for Mumbai from Bihar, where I was analysing #BiharElections. We will win fight of truth.
In the summon issued to Bhandari, the Mumbai police ordered him to be present on October 22, 2020, at 4 pm in the court. It also said that Bhandari could move anywhere without informing the court. The police reminded him that a notice had been sent to his and his lawyer on October 10, 2020, to be present in the court on October 12, 2020, for the hearing in a case that was registered against him at the Khar police station.
The notice read that though the original copy of the notice was also sent to him on October 13, 2020, he had given no written or verbal information and remained absent for the same. Saying so, the Mumbai police wrote that this summon should be considered a strict warning. It said that if Bhandari remained absent, negligent or refused to be present then a warrant will be issued against him.
This notice also alleges that Pradeep Bhandari was informed on Whatsapp as well as a notice was sent through speed post to him for attending the court proceedings but he remained absent without informing the court about his unavailability.
Anticipatory bail granted to Pradeep Bhandari after being opposed for 2 hours
Pertinently, only yesterday Pradeep Bhandari had taken to Twitter to reveal that though his anticipatory bail was opposed for two hours in court, finally, it was granted after the legal team of Arnab Goswami put up a commendable fight.
The Maharashtra government has been misusing the state machinery, including the Mumbai police, hounding the Republic TV chief and other employees, ever since Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s chicanery over the fake ‘TRP scam’ case was brought out in the open. Pradip Bhandari had also slammed Mumbai PC Singh for partiality, working on the behest of his political masters and not respecting the police uniform. Following the embarrassment, the Mumbai police had upped its ante against the independent media network and summoned its consulting editor and journalist Pradeep Bhandari for questioning.
Pertinently, Pradeep Bhandari has been leading the reportage in demand for justice in Sushant Singh Rajput death case. Subsequently, Arnab Goswami had accused Param Bir Singh of targeting his channel for relentlessly pursuing the actor’s death case, the Palghar lynching case etc. He had said that the Mumbai PC is scared about facts coming out in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
A complaint against Bhandari was registered at the Khar police station under Articles 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of IPC and 37(1), 135 of the Bombay Police Act, and he has been asked to appear for the investigation of the said crime.