File photo of Arnab Goswami | Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images
File photo of Arnab Goswami | Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images
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A Delhi court’s order to register an FIR against Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, for illegally airing information from the Delhi Police investigations into the death of Sunanda Pushkar—wife of Shashi Tharoor—is another attack on press freedom.

The order followed a complaint by the Congress MP, in which he accused Goswami of unlawfully obtaining the information from police files and hacking his email account and broadcasting some of their contents on Republic TV. Tharoor’s counsel argued that “it is not permissible to share information/documents related to any investigation to any public member/media, till the case is pending”.

Shashi Tharoor already has a criminal defamation suit and a civil defamation suit pending against Arnab Goswami.


Also read: Indian journalists face a brutal equation: Fight together for press freedoms or perish


Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh’s order should be condemned by all journalists and those who believe in freedom of expression. Equally, it should worry journalists because it strikes at the very heart of their ability to do their job.

Many investigations by journalists have been based on gaining access to official documents that are not in the public domain, or that are not, in the court’s language, “permissible to share” but have been in the public interest.

By stretching the same logic, the most recent revelations in The Hindu on the Rafale deal, which are based on official documents that have clearly been leaked to The Hindu Chairman N. Ram, would not have been published.

Similarly, the Business Standard report on unemployment figures being the highest in 45 years was based on the leaked report of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).

This action against Arnab Goswami must be seen as another attempt to intimidate the media and is all of piece with several other instances when journalists have had criminal cases lodged against them for doing their jobs.


Also read: Your Lordships, leaks are an essential part of democracy and journalism. Don’t get angry


An FIR was lodged against journalist Rachna Khaira after she exposed a possible security breach in the UIDAI data in The Tribune, last January.

Suvarna news channel journalist Ajith Hanumakkanavar faced an FIR for allegedly disturbing communal harmony with his remarks during a TV broadcast on Ayodhya, this January.

Each instance is a way of muzzling the media and must be opposed. There are no two ways about this: irrespective of our opinion of the journalist and her/his work, we must ‘defend’ their ‘right to say it’.

Under the NDA government, there is a great opacity in governance – a blanket of secrecy shrouds decision-making and access to information is hard to come by.

Under such circumstances, journalists have to ferret out information by whatever means available to them, including accessing official or confidential documents.

What is at stake in the Goswami case is a matter of principle. It is not a defense of Goswami, the journalist, but of his right, and that of any journalist, to obtain information that may have a bearing on public interest.

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54 Comments Share Your Views

54 COMMENTS

  1. I used to think I am being very unfair to him. But when Ms Suhasini Haidar, one of the most sober, balanced, impartial – must take entirely after her mother – observers says he is not a journalist, his channel does not give out news, when the equally objective Ms Jyoti Malhotra says he has done more than anyone else to harm the profession, that is a point of introspection for journalism. Not just one individual or channel. An entire eco system has been created which – although I detest the word – is anti national. It is harming India’s interests, including foreign policy, is ruining our public discourse. Yeh bhi ek daur hai, guzar jayega.

  2. Please learn the difference between ‘a case under investigation’ and the one where ‘truth yet to be unearthed’. Just bcoz you are into journalism, one cant poke his nose into ‘ongoing investigation’. There is a difference.

  3. I stand with Arnab. He’s fearless journalism made Taroor pee in his pants. Let CBI conduct this case and prove his crime.

  4. I agree that showcasing documents shouldn’t be banned, but is it ethical journalism to hack someone’s personal email account?

  5. Arab job is to work for his boss bjp let him.do that don’t compare him with journalist which is a good profession with ethics

  6. I accept multiple sources available to journalists but none has right to hack my mail. Personal privacy is most important which should not be enchroached.

  7. One cannot understand the title. It is an insult to Mr. Goswami, who has dedicated his life to uphold the truth and deliver justice at any cost and at his own cost! He must have uttered many a times on his channel that ‘law will take its own course’ ‘every one is equal in the eyes of the law’ etc. So be it, let him drink his own concoction with all humility at his commond, let us all be good spectators and cheer!

  8. In the guise of journalism, he has not only passed derogatory comments but also gave his judgement.
    Such journalist should not be protected.

  9. So the press can go against the law in the name of “freedom of expression”? That will make a journalist above the law. Journalists are doing this only for higher profits.

  10. Yes, journalists rights should be protected. But if journalist become biased and work as godi media, what’s the remedy ? ताली दो हाथों से बजती है,

  11. Whatever 99 % Media persons may be doing their duty sicetely but when one out of many behave differently and looks biased and nuisance must be isolated and punished by follow media persons also.Since many months we are listening from his mouth words spoken at JNU by some kashmiri boys which were anti national and those kashmiris were intentionally highered by those who never participated in freedom struggle and stands by Britishers ,and also never respected national flag for long.Arnab almost daily speaks Tukday Tukfay and other anti national words hundreds time and by doing so its look like he is also of same category. So good media keep away from him and let courts decide his fate.

  12. Arnab is a biased person. An anchor should allow his panelists to speak. He always thinks himself as a judge. Now, a good chance for him to meet a real judge.

  13. Since he is from north now the whole India stands up, but for journalist lankesh murder case nobody aired their voice because she is from kalaburgi from south, will there be an end to this biased system.

  14. Sorry Arnab is no journalist he is a anti free speech who keeps blabbering against all national minorities ,thinks he is the smartest person ever to be born on earth,shouts out loudest,is not willing to listen to any one,practices yellow journalism,he is a loud mouth official spokesperson of a political party,he deserves prosecution.

  15. I support arnab, we need journalist like him,
    He come with documents, they inspire many to do some thing for country. It is difficult to talk as about high profile people.
    If some one speak fearlessly and tries to do good for nation then let support him.

  16. Why not just ignore him, he will automatically get defended. By talking about him people are giving importance to a churlish man.

  17. He isn’t doing his job ‘ correctly’. If he ever follows the ethoes of journalism I seriously doubt any would dare speak against ‘the truth’ he says he is exposing or trying to bring out!

  18. I do not agree with this view. What Arnab is doing is not journalism. He is not proving information in public interest. He is only interested in TRP of his channel by senslising an investigation which being tried in the court. If you have time , pl stand for Manipur journalist who has been arrested under NSA.

  19. He is not worth the defense you are extending as he is already a disgrace to journalism it will be better if you don’t consider him as one of you… Today I watchied the video clip of shameless crony journalists clashing with students at AMU after instigating with communal slurr…such disgusting person and his news channel even Shiva Sena’s Samna will fare much better than this rogues TV channel.

  20. I m in support of this brave journalist who speaks for the nation, for Indian army, for changes against the oppressive and corrupt practices.

  21. Arnab is one who stands out as clean media person among sold out biased media.

    He is brave and intelligent and hardworking. Press freedom should be protected.

  22. The whole basis of the article that Arnab is a journalist is wrong he is just a party mouthpiece. He is a chameleon who will change is colour according to the masters. If he is a citizen of the country he has to be treated like one

  23. He exposes the anti national. This is the main problem . There r so many people supporting anti national in name of fake freedom of expression which is not applied when yogi is stopped from his speech in bengal.

  24. Arnab goswami is fighting against the anti national. That is why he is targeted in name of fake freedom of expression, which is used selectively when yogi was not allowed make speech in bengal.

  25. As the article said, The principles are at stake here but, what should be taken into consideration is whether the so said ‘victim’ is in compliance with the principles himself.

  26. Being journalist doesn’t gv I d licence to access somebody’s personal mail.if that is so, den concept of privacy will either away.Only ths case does not constitute Shashi’s life. If tomorrow I pose as a jorno nd say com’n I hv a r8 to enter your house forcefully to elicit sm information tht u hv hidden, wl u allow???

  27. One journalist who has spine to call out the crooks and the anti nationals. India should have thousand more journalists like Arnab.

  28. Arnab Goswami is just mouthpiece for BJP. I don’t know how can you consider him to be a journalist. Also hacking someone’s email is illegal. I don’t know how does the author support a person who did that. Bhakt Alert!

  29. People may have different opinions about Arnab..but one should notice his brave journalism by questioning highly influenced people…so in my opinion he is doing his work sincerely…. and I hope our constitution will give him protection…

  30. Arnab is the best thing that happened to journalism.
    In his debates we find equal reps of left right and centre.
    Sagarika,Sardesai,barkha etc can be accepted on thier radical views and there is one answer to all of them..Arnab tusi great hoon

  31. He is a disgrace to journalism. He’s only good for licking the ass of his master the cunning modi. By being mouth piece of Bjp, he’s supporting corruption and antinationalism. Modi is a virus and people like arnab is spreading the disease.

  32. If N.Ram of The Hindu can leak information from file notings and come to his own judgement with out clear finding on culpability or mens rea on the part of any person on the alleged mis deed in the Rafale deal, surely Arnab can get hold of material from his private source as part of journalistic ethics into the mysterious death of smt sunanda pushkar. Surely,there cannot be two views in this regard.

  33. Arnab Goswami is a tutored anchor.Only. shouting and browbeating the participant do not make one great.There are contemporary anchors who are far more educated,suave,polite yet assertive and superior to him.Days are numbered for him.Wait

  34. Shame on those who wish to malign Arab Goswami for his eye – opening journalism. His fights against corruption, nepotism, opportunistic politics are undoubtedly exemplary. He is the real epitome of a journalist par excellence. Without journalists like him our democracy would be in jeopardy. He never spares any body’s wrong – doing. Those who have the audacity to call him a Modi Bhakt have to look within. Are they not biased?

  35. I think the hon’ble judge here wants the public to wait for for an indefinite period to know the truth after the unending legal fight. Any irregularity that comes to the public domain is viewed seriously and alerts the judiciary. What does the hon’ble judge want here to do? Throttling open journalism so that people can’t know anything about the investigation until the report is lost?

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