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SC safeguards Arnab Goswami from arrest in abetment to suicide case

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The Supreme Court has said that the interim bail granted to Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case will stay valid for a period of four weeks after the Bombay High Court decides his plea for quashing the FIR. The direction came from the division bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee.

With this, the Supreme Court has protected Arnab Goswami from an immediate arrest even if the Bombay High Court rejects his plea to quash the FIR registered against him. The additional four weeks would enable the senior journalist to approach the apex court with an appeal, if required.

Arnab Goswami had moved the apex court against the order of the Bombay High Court that denied him bail in the case.

While granting interim bail to Arnab Goswami on November 11, the top court criticised the Maharashtra government for the arrest of the senior journalist. It said that it would be a travesty of justice if the personal liberty of a person is curtailed like this.

“We are seeing case after case where high courts are not granting bail and failing to protect the personal liberty of people,” the SC had said.

HC refused bail to Arnab Goswami

The Bombay High Court had on November 9 refused to provide any interim relief to Arnab Goswami. As a result, Arnab Goswami who was arrested on November 4 in connection with an abetment to suicide case had to stay in jail for a few days.

A division bench, pronouncing its order, had said that no case was made out by Goswami for the high court to exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction. The high court said that the senior journalist can approach the lower court to seek bail.

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Arnab had contended before the court that the reopening of the 2018 case and his arrest in this connection was illegal. The high court, however, said that reopening of the investigation by the Maharashtra police cannot be termed as irregular or illegal by any stretch of imagination.

The case

Interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik were found dead at their bungalow in Alibaug in May 2018. Naik’s daughter Adnya claimed non-payment of dues by Republic TV had driven her father and grandmother to suicide.

The police had found a suicide not written in English that said he and his mother decided to take the extreme step on account of payments due to them not being cleared by the owners of three companies – television journalist Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.

The three firms owed Naik’s company, Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd, Rs 83 lakh, Rs 4 crore and Rs 55 lakh respectively, the note added.

In May this year, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said the state CID will re re-investigate the case. The case was closed by the Raigad Police last year.

 

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