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Maharashtra Human Rights Commission seeks copy of Magistrate order from Raigad SP for reopening the abetment to suicide case against Arnab Goswami

Raigad police have re-opened the case against Arnab Goswami without obtaining permission from a magistrate, which is mandatory

After the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission (MHRC) issued summon to Raigad SP yesterday to appear before it today, the human rights body has sought from Raigad SP the certified copies of orders of Magistrate for reopening the 2018 abetment to suicide case against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.

The MHRC came into action after Advocate Aditya Mishra filed a petition before the Commission for taking up the matter of ‘illegal’ arrest of Goswami by Raigad police on an urgent basis. Police Inspector Bada Kumbha who appeared before the Commission today on behalf of Raigad SP sought an adjournment till Tuesday (November 10) citing the reason that since he was not the Investigating Officer in the case, he was not familiar with the details of the case. He also sought a copy of the petition from Mishra and said that he would present the entire case on behalf of Raigad police on Tuesday.

Speaking to Republic TV, Advocate Mishra said that the main contention in his petition filed before the MHRC was whether the requisite permission was obtained from the jurisdictional magistrate before reopening the case for investigation against Goswami. He told that the legal procedure requires that if a closed case was to be opened for investigation prior permission of the jurisdictional magistrate should be obtained.

It may be noted that the Raigad police have re-opened the case without obtaining permission from a magistrate. While refusing police remand for Arnab Goswami, the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Alibaug court had noted that the police must obtain permission from court to reopen the case as the closure of the earlier investigation was approved by court.

Advocate Mishra had filed an online petition before the MHRC on November 4, 2020. He filed an application before the Commission yesterday seeking urgent action by the Commission. “My main contention in the petition is whether the due process of law was followed before making the arrest. I have filed this petition as a human rights activist. By Tuesday let us see, let us hope they file they (police) file the report, I will get the entire picture. Once that issue gets clear whether the permission was obtained or not, I will be able to state further”, said Advocate Mishra.

All India Bar Association wrote to Maharashtra Governor

On November 4, All India Bar Association (AIBA) had written to the Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari condemning the arrest of Goswami in violation of Supreme Court guidelines regarding the rights of the arrestee. AIBA Chairman Dr. Adish Singh Aggarwala requested the Governor to immediately release Goswami describing the act of Maharashtra government as “blatant misuse of power” and “an attack on individual freedom”

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