Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
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Bombay HC gives Arnab Goswami no interim relief, SC issues contempt notice on his plea

SC issues contempt notice to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly secretary for 'threatening' to penalise Goswami over approaching SC against breach of privilege notice.

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New Delhi: Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami failed to get relief from the Bombay High Court Friday in a 2018 suicide abetment case, as the hearing on his petition remained inconclusive.

There was, however, some reprieve for him when a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, issued a contempt notice to the secretary of Maharashtra Assembly for threatening to penalise Goswami for approaching the top court against a breach of privilege notice.

The breach of privilege notice by the legislative house secretary alleged that Goswami had made derogatory remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The top court also ordered that Goswami will not be arrested pursuant to proceedings initiated in this case. It also said that the letter was sent to him with an “intention to intimidate” Goswami for petitioning the top court.

In the Bombay High Court, a bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and M.S. Karnik agreed to hold a special hearing Saturday to hear Goswami’s petition seeking quashing of the 2018 case.

In his plea, Goswami questioned the police for re-investigating the case given that a closure report filed in 2019 was accepted by the magistrate. He also said that the police did not take the court’s prior permission to re-investigate the case.

The senior journalist, arrested by Raigad Police on 4 November, is in judicial custody for 14 days. The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Alibaug trial court had remanded him to judicial custody while declining a police request for custodial interrogation.

The high court had Thursday made it clear that it would not pass any order without hearing the state police and Adnya Naik, on whose complaint the police had commenced a re-investigation into the abetment to suicide case. Adnya is the daughter of architect Anvay Naik who allegedly committed suicide along with his mother Kumud over non-payment of dues by Republic TV.


Also read: The 6 cases filed against Arnab Goswami & Republic TV in Maharashtra since 2018


‘Secretary’s letter obstructs administration of justice’

The CJI-headed Supreme Court bench took strong exception to the contents of the Maharashtra Assembly secretary’s letter to Goswami. The bench called it an “unprecedented” act with a “tendency to bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.

In his letter, written on 13 October, the secretary of the legislative assembly “threatened” to impose penalty on Goswami for breaching the “confidentiality of the House” by approaching the top court, despite being told that the proceedings were “confidential”.

The top court also directed the secretary’s presence during the next hearing, which will be after two weeks, to get his response as to why he should not be punished for contempt of court.

Goswami’s counsel, senior advocate Harish Salve, drew the court’s attention to the secretary’s letter. Salve alleged that the Maharashtra government had threatened Goswami, saying he would have to spend his Diwali in jail.

“There is no doubt that if a citizen of India is deterred in any way from approaching this court, in the exercise of his right under Article 32, it would amount to a serious interference in the administration of justice in the country,” the top court’s order said.

Goswami’s petition in the Supreme Court has been filed under Article 32 — a writ jurisdiction that can be invoked if there is a violation of a fundamental right. The bench also remarked that the secretary would have been “well advised to understand that right to approach this court under Article 32 is a fundamental right”.

“This is definitely a serious matter and amounts to contempt,” the court noted, while appointing senior advocate Viraj Dattar as amicus curiae so that it can get an independent opinion in the case.


Also read: Some Congress leaders feel Arnab’s arrest is ‘political vendetta’, but they’re keeping quiet


State acting out of malice, Salve tells HC

In the Bombay High Court, Salve said there was no relationship between Goswami and the person who committed suicide. Their relationship was purely commercial, he said.

“The conduct for abetment to suicide must be direct and proximate. The magistrate had rightly accepted the closure report of the police,” he added.

Salve also cited a Supreme Court judgment in which it held that mere use of abusive words for not paying back money borrowed will not amount to abetment to suicide. “The intention of the accused to aid or instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide is necessary,” he said.

The court, however, doubted whether it could hear Goswami on bail when Salve advanced arguments to release him. The judges told the senior counsel that they were not authorised to hear bail applications, according to the roster settled by the Chief Justice.

Salve said the court could do so since Goswami had in his petition challenged the premise of the case. He then also informed the court about the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly where Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had discussed about Goswami and also the abetment to suicide case.

The senior counsel contended that the state government was acting out of malice. Salve went on to count the number of FIRs already registered against Goswami in the state.


Also read: Why Arnab Goswami’s arrest puts India’s long-cherished freedom of speech in danger


 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Agar yeh Salman Khan ka murder case hota aur Sanjay Dutt ka tada case toh interim relief mei bail pahela din hi mil jaata. Agar Arnab Drug pedllers hota toh yeh Naik ka case gayab ho jata. Agar Arnab accused hai toh lawfully case ko settle karna chahiye…40 police aur AK 47 leke nahi. Mumbai police ko Naik ka case solve karne mei interest nahi hai, sirf Thakre ka chamchagiri aur ego satisfy karne mei interest hai. Full activities on the case is showing. Ab kya BJP ke time jo case close huya sab open nahi karna chahiye ya sirf Arnab wala hi karna chat. ‘THe Print’ news educated and literate log padte hai so lies aur fabricated news mat print karo we understand u r sold in hand of Whom. Pahele toh tumhare editor ko sabak sikhana chahiye. Useless article

  2. What about Muslim terrorists that NDTV and Aaj Tak channels openly support and talk about? None of these police folks arrest them. Shame on all you goons of Maharashtra government
    Very sad to see Arnab arrested. May this rot in Maharashtra end soon.

  3. Vindicitiveness is nothing new for the Government of Maharashtra. It is its innate culture. It is in its DNA.

    In my case, despite two favourable Judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 30.8.1988 and 29.1.2014, I am being harassed and victimised by the Government of Maharashtra for the last about 36 years.

    A cycle of litigation started by GOM alleging that I am suffering from “inferiority complex”.

    The Hon’ble SC ruled in 1988 that what is harmful for public is superiority complex and not inferiority complex. SC allowed my Civil Appeal No. 3464 of 1988, with costs and consequential benefits. (Please see AIR 1988 SC 2060, Vijay Kumar v State of Maharashtra and others)

    GOM made it a false prestige issue.

    During the pendency of the said litigation, I was illegally and unconstitutionally suspended and chargesheeted.

    The alleged chargesheet was ultimately terminated by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court on 28.3.2012. GOM went to SC. SC dismissed GOM’s Civil Appeal on 29.1.2014. Review Petition of GOM was dismissed on 18.8.2015.

    Despite all these favourable orders, sealed covers dated 1.7.1991 and 1.7.1995 have not been opened by GOM and I have been illegally deprived of my promotions by GOM.

    Also, false, misleading, deceptive, dishonest and fraudulent reply-affidavit dated 18.7.2019 has been filed in DHC by GOM.

    No response to my legal notices addressed to GOM and its scoundrel-grade officers.

    In short, most unfortunately, it is a government of the scoundrels, by the scoundrels, for the scoundrels.

    Vijay Kumar agarwal, Ex-IAS (1982 batch. Maharashtra cadre). Mobile: 9560172716. vijay.kumar.agarwal.ias@gmail.com

  4. CLOSURE REPORT obtained from Anvay’s family UNDER DURESS…….Three people including ARNAB GOSWAMI who didn’t pay dues amounting to Rs 5.4 crore which led to suicide ….. they didn’t pay money in 2018 and forced Anvay Naik , Interior Decorator of Republic TV STUDIO to SUICIDE who had named ARNAB GOSWAMI in the SUICIDE NOTE as cause of his Suicide….. ARNAB GOSWAMY is trying to take shelter of TECNICALIES like CASE WAS CLOSED in 2018 to escape PROSECUTION…..Actually, BJP Fadnavis Home Minister helped Arnab by forcibly getting CLOSURE REPORT signed by Anvay Family by Crookery which the Anvay Family is now PROTESTING .

  5. The headline is misleading. By design or default?

    Disclaimer: Not taking any sides but calling out The Print

  6. The same Supreme Court which has acquitted all Hindu terrorists and allowed Hindutva regime to construct a Hindu temple at Ayodhya?

    The same treatment should be meted out to the pro establishment and pro PTI and anti-Sindh journalists (Kamran Khan – ARY, Samaa TV, Dunya, Express News, Jang). Who use racist language for the people of the Sindh and the KPK and Balochistan, and the Sindh Government. While living and doing media business in the capital city Karachi of Sindh.

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