The politics around Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s arrest in an old case is getting murkier by the day. After arresting Goswami in a closed case of 2018, the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government in Maharashtra is now dragging state opposition leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis’ name in the case. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which is a part of the state coalition government has demanded Fadnavis be made a co-accused in the 2018 case of suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik.
NCP calls Arnab Goswami a BJP worker
NCP Spokesperson Umesh Patil claimed that Naik’s family was pressurised to close the case by the Home Ministry which at that time was under BJP leader and then-CM Devendra Fadnavis. Referring to the allegations made by Naik’s wife and daughter in a press conference held yesterday, Patil said, “From the press conference of Naik’s family, it has become clear that pressure was put on them to sign papers related to the closure of the suicide case. Since at that time, the Home Ministry portfolio was with then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, he should be made a co-accused in the case. The police officials who tried to pressure Naik family should also be made co-accused”.
He said that the NCP has sought investigation in the entire episode as the Naik family has alleged that they were made to sign papers in the office of a joint commissioner of police. He questioned as to why the accused (Arnab Goswami) was not arrested when he was specifically named in the suicide note of Naik.
Patil further attacked BJP for supporting Arnab Goswami and called Goswami a “BJP worker”. He said, “In Uttar Pradesh when a journalist wrote an article, she was charged under the Atrocities Act. BJP leaders and ministers never came forward to support her. Similarly, several journalists have been arrested in the country but BJP never took their side”.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik described Arnab Goswami’s arrest as “Part II of India’s Most Wanted Anchor”
Shiv Sena raised questions on the investigation in suicide case
Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe also raised questions on the investigation of the suicide case and demanded action against ‘guilty’ police officers. “There is a need for a proper investigation into the allegations made by the Naik family. It seems there was pressure to suppress the facts and prevent the arrest of the three accused. If the police officers were found guilty, action should also be taken against them”, Gorhe said.
Congress termed Arnab Goswami’s arrest as a true tribute to Naik
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant described Arnab Goswami’s arrest as “true tribute to Anvay Naik” and accused the previous BJP-led government of suppressing the case for two years. “For two years, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government suppressed the case. Threats were given and pressure put on Nail family. Therefore, Congress demands that an investigation be conducted to find the other culprits in the case”, Sawant said. He alleged that special treatment was being given to Goswami as his statement was recorded in Mumbai and not in Alibaug. Sawant alleged that Naik family was threatened with dire consequences and was pressurised to withdraw the case.
Arnab Goswami dragged, beaten, arrested in a 2018 case that was closed earlier
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. Mumbai Police have started re-investigation in the 2018 closed case of interior designer Anvay Naik’s suicide on the direction of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Apart from this, a fresh FIR was registered against him alleging that he had assaulted a female cop when he was being dragged out his house by Mumbai police. A similar FIR was registered against his wife, son and two others on the allegations of assaulting cops who came to arrest him.
90 per cent payment made to interior designer’s company: Arnab Goswami in his HC plea
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 his plea, Goswami denied having any direct involvement with the deceased interior designer and contended that his interaction with the deceased regarding the payments was strictly professional in nature. For the reasons provided in the plea, he further contended that a case of abetment of suicide under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code was not made out against him.
“It is a settled principle of law that to attract ingredients of abetment, the intention of the accused to aid or instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide is necessary. In the present case, by no stretch of imagination can it be said that there existed an intention to aid, instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide on the part of the petitioner…”, the petition read. It was further contended in the petition, “Moreover, for the provisions of section 306 to be attached, the direct involvement of the accused in the abetment of suicide is necessary. In the present case, the petitioner did not have any direct involvement with the abetment. Merely because a person has been named in the suicide note, one cannot jump to the conclusion that he is an offender under section 306 of the IPC”.