In a news report published in The Hindu newspaper, on Wednesday (November 4), the Local Crime Branch (LCB) of the Mumbai police claimed that Republic TV Editor Arnab Goswami had attempted to send money to Anvay Naik, post his death.
Inspector Jamil Shaikh (LCB) stated, “After reopening the case, it was transferred to the LCB. We then investigated and found more evidence. Mr. Goswami had attempted to transfer money into Naik’s account after his death, but the bank rejected it as the account holder was not alive. This showed that he actually owed the money.”
Petition by Arnab Goswami in Bombay High Court
Goswami has claimed in his petition that ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, the firm that owns and operates Republic TV, had paid 90% of the dues to deceased Anvay Naik’s company Concorde Designs Pvt. Ltd. (CDPL) over two years ago. He further said that ARG Outlier media Pvt Ltd made several attempts for complete and final settlement of all claims but the absence of shareholders or directors in CDPL rendered the attempts unsuccessful.
He said that the entire amount due to CDPL was transferred to CDPL’s bank account in July 2019 but it was reverted because the account was inoperative.
In the petition, Arnab Goswami said:
Goswami has claimed in his petition that ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, the firm that owns and operates Republic TV, had paid 90% of the dues to deceased Anvay Naik’s company Concorde Designs Pvt. Ltd. (CDPL) over two years ago. He further said that ARG Outlier media Pvt Ltd made several attempts for complete and final settlement of all claims but the absence of shareholders or directors in CDPL rendered the attempts unsuccessful. He said that the entire amount due to CDPL was transferred to CDPL’s bank account in July 2019 but it was reverted because the account was inoperative.
How Congress had earlier in May targeted Arnab Goswami over this case and what Republic had said at the time
The Congress party has gone hammer and tongs against Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami after his statements regarding Sonia Gandhi and the Palghar lynching. After the two sadhus were lynched in Palghar, Maharashtra, Arnab Goswami had asked pointed questions to the Congress party and its President Sonia Gandhi. When the attack by goons and the relentless haranguing by the state machinery did not help silence Arnab Goswami, Congress raked up an old suicide case, in which an FIR was filed against Arnab Goswami, in an attempt to cower him down.
It all started when Arnab Goswami asked why Sonia Gandhi was silent and whether the Italian born politician would have maintained such silence if it were Christian padres who were murdered. In the process, he also brought up the Graham Stains murder, a Christian missionary, as in November 2015, awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice was awarded to the wife of Graham Staines. The award is given by an organisation close to the Congress party. Congress leader P. C. Thomas is one of the members of the committee that decides the awardees. If an organisation linked with Sonia Gandhi’s Congress party could award Staines’ wife, why would she not speak up against the lynching of two sadhus in a state where she has compromised her ideological moorings and aligned with the Shiv Sena.
Congress had filed multiple FIRs at the time and even launched a physical attack against him.
At the time, Congress had circulated the video of the wife of Anvay Naik to target Arnab Goswami, though the case was closed.
Responding to the lies then, Republic TV had released a statement staying that the video leaves out some vital information about the case.
The response said that the case against Arnab Goswami was investigated and closed by a court of law after a closure report was filed by the Police in the matter since Mrs Akshita had no proof to back her allegations or prove any sort of illegality. The response also said that ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd has paid 90% of the amount due to Anvay Naik’s company Concorde Design Pvt Ltd as per the terms of the work order issued over 2 years ago. It said that the remaining amount was to be paid to CDPL after the completion of the work which was never undertaken. Even so, repeated attempts were made by ARG Media to settle the dues once and for all, but since CDPL had no shareholders or directors, that attempt was rendered futile.
Arnab Goswami has asserted that multiple attempts were made by his company to reach Anvay Naik, the wife of the deceased with a request to settle the balance payment but no concrete response was ever received.
He goes on to say that the balance amount was even transferred to the account of CDPL, however, since the account was inoperative, the amount was returned in July 2019.
The response then went on to say that Anvay Naik wanted the amount remitted to a third party vendor and even though contractually, that is not allowed, ARG Media offered to have a sit down meeting with her in the presence of their lawyers to find an amicable solution. Despite their email on the 25th of January 2020 and subsequent communication on the 25th and 26th February, there was no response from her. ARG media also says that they have the full record of all communication that vindicate their stand.
How the Mumbai Police’s statement vindicates Arnab Goswami’s stand
In the statement to The Hindu, the Police has categorically said that Arnab Goswami did try to settle the amount but the money was returned. It does not specify the amount. Hence, we can assume that Arnab Goswami’s clarification, that 90% of the amount was already paid and the rest of the amount was trying to be settled but the wife of Mr Naik was not cooperating could be true.
Hence, it would appear that the statement by the Mumbai Police seems to vindicate that clarification that Arnab Goswami has given in the case repeatedly instead of proving any wrong doing. Further, the police saying that this “prove Arnab owed money”. However, that statement has never been disputed. Arnab Goswami has maintained his stand that while 90% of the dues were cleared, 10% could not be cleared since the wife was not cooperating.
Case reopened due to vendetta
Arnab Goswami has alleged in his plea that the 2018 case is being reinvestigated because of vendetta and personal animosity of the political dispensation in Maharashtra, respondent Commissioner of Mumbai Police Param Bir Singh and based on a video released by Akshata Naik, wife of the deceased, the case has been reopened which was earlier closed by court on the basis of the closure report filed by the police. He said that the vendetta of the Maharashtra government became clear after a breach of privilege motion was initiated in Maharashtra Assembly against him.
He had requested the Court to direct his immediate release as not even a prima facie case has been made out against him and also keeping in view the nature of his work which is such that even one day’s absence would have a major impact on him, his news channel and its employees. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody by Alibaug court yesterday.