After hearing Arnab Goswami’s counsel, the division bench of Bombay High Court, comprising Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik, has yet again adjourned the plea of Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, seeking revocation of the 2018 abetment of suicide case in which he has been arrested, saying that the court needs to hear the other side before coming to a conclusion. Arnab Goswami also sought interim release from jail. Now the court would continue hearing the plea on November 7 (Saturday) at 12 noon. This would mean that the Republic TV chief would have to spend another night in judicial custody.
Today’s hearing in the habeas petition filed by Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami, commenced with senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing on the behalf of Arnab Goswami, telling the bench that the remand order by Alibaug court makes important points about the illegality of arrest and the lack of merits in the allegations against Arnab Goswami.
Salve apprised the Court of the breach of privilege proceedings which led to the re-opening of the case of abetment of suicide. He adds that the Supreme Court has granted protection to Arnab Goswami today and also issued a contempt notice to Maharashtra Assembly Speaker.
Salve said that he has filed an application under Section 438 with the Petition. “My petition has allegations that a case which was closed has been re-opened with malicious intentions”.
While Advocate Ponda, appearing for Goswami, read portions from the court order where the CJM had noted that no permission has been taken for reopening the case.
Throwing light on the Maharashtra Govt’s ploy to implicate Republic TV editor-in-chief in a case which was closed in 2019 as there was no evidence found, Salve told the court that Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had alleged in Assembly that Arnab Goswami was responsible for the suicide of the interior designer Anvay Naik who had allegedly committed suicide in 2018. He said that Mumbai police was also trying to secure a police remand which was refused by the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Highlighting Maharashtra Govt’s personal vendetta against Republic TV editor-in-chief, Salve told the court that Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had alleged in Assembly that Arnab Goswami was responsible for the suicide of the interior designer Anvay Naik who had allegedly committed suicide in 2018.
Salve said that Mumbai police has also been trying to put its best foot forward to secure a police remand of the senior journalist, which was refused by the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Salve here reiterates that the CJM has stated in the order that it seems that the arrest of the accused (Arnab Goswami) is illegal.
Salve placed on record the discussion which took place in the assembly where first Arnab’s journalistic works were discussed, for example, the use of harsh words by the journalist etc, then the Minister of Home Affairs Anil Deshmukh started discussing the suicide case of Anvay Naik. Salve asked the bench to pay attention to how the entire discussion in the Assembly was interweaved to hatch a ploy against Arnab Goswami.
Salve drew the bench’s attention to how in the Assembly the Home Minister said that necessary “orders will be issued to the Police”, and claimed that there is no doubt that this State is acting out of malice against the Republic TV chief.
Hansa Research Group being harassed by the Mumbai Police to make false statements against Republic and Arnab Goswami
Referring to the earlier FIRs registered against Arnab Goswami, Salve said that there has been a specific pattern adopted by the Maharashtra govt to harass his client. Salve also made references to Hansa Research Group which made submissions in court that it is being harassed by the Mumbai Police forcing them to make false statements against Republic Media Network.
No person even superficially familiar with the law would hold the accused prima facie liable for abetment to suicide: Salve takes a dig at Raut
Taking a dig at Shiv Sena’s motormouth leader Sanjay Raut, Salve told the court that no person even superficially familiar with the law would hold these accused (referring to Arnab Goswami and the other two accused in the 2108 abetment to suicide case) prima facie liable for abetment to suicide.
Referring to the Supreme Court judgment in ‘M Arjunan v State’, Salve said: “You have commercial disputes with different people for over two years. You don’t file a suit. You have creditors beating at your door. You kill yourself. There cannot be FIR for abetment to suicide for this.”
“Without a positive act on the part of the accused to instigate or aid in committing suicide, conviction cannot be sustained”- Salve quoted from the above SC judgment.
“Without a positive act on the part of the accused to instigate or aid in committing suicide, conviction cannot be sustained”- Salve quotes from the above judgment.#ArnabGoswami #BombayHighCourt #RepublicTV— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) November 6, 2020
“Merely on the allegation of harassment without there being any positive action proximate to the time of occurrence on the part of the accused which led or compelled the person to commit suicide, conviction in terms of Section 306 IPC is not sustainable”, Salve quoted, reiterating the Magistrates stand that even if Anvay Naik committed suicide due to financial losses, why did his mother end her life? We do not know the curious circumstances of the suicide. Nobody has established that there is illegal Commission, argued Salve furthering that under these circumstances, there is no need to keep Arnab in custody.
Salve told the bench that there is a prima facie finding of the Magistrate before it that the arrest is illegal and the whole act is mala fide. If the root is tainted by illegality then it is important to note that the result will be too, said Salve.
Arnab’s counsel also cited various past cases to indicate that SC has held that the High Court can grant bail even under Article 226 in exceptional circumstances.
Goswami was arrested by Raigad police from his Mumbai residence on November 4 morning following which the CJM of Alibaug remanded him to 14-day judicial custody till November 18. The prime argument raised in the HC petition is that the police has no power to suo moto re-open the case without getting a judicial order after the Magistrate passed a closure order in the case in 2019 based on the report submitted by police then.
Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami files habeas corpus petition after his arrest
After being manhandled at his residence by Raigad police cops who came to arrest him at his house yesterday in relation to a two-year-old closed case, Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami has filed a plea before the Bombay High Court challenging his arrest by the police.
The plea in the Bombay High Court came after Mumbai Police had arbitrarily started re-investigation in the 2018 closed case of interior designer Anvay Naik’s suicide on the direction of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami arrested
Continuing their witch-hunt against Republic TV chief, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday arrested Arnab Goswami. The Mumbai Police reached Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s residence on Wednesday and physically manhandled him as they tried to detain him in a 2018 abetment to suicide case that was already closed.
A team of Mumbai Police arrested Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami after they physically assaulted and dragged him by grabbing his hair. In a shocking act, a large contingent of Mumbai Police was seen present at Goswami’s residence on Wednesday morning. In the below video, it can be seen how officials of the Mumbai Police were manhandling the Republic TV chief.
In May 2018, an FIR was filed against Arnab Goswami after an interior designer had committed suicide in Mumbai. In a suicide note, Anvay Naik claimed Goswami owed him a total of Rs 5.4 crore. However, Goswami was investigated and case was closed by court after a closure report was filed by the Police.