MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to pass order on a plea seeking to restrain Republic TV channel head Arnab Goswami from anchoring debates and to direct police to file a case against him and the channel's management for allegedly spreading communal hatred.
The petition filed by Congress leaders Bhai Jagtap and Suraj Thakur demanded that an FIR be registered against Goswami and the channel for allegedly attempting to disrupt communal harmony and defaming party president Sonia Gandhi during a debate on the last month's Palghar lynching incident.
The plea also sought, as interim relief, a direction to restrain Goswami from conducting news shows which could incite violence.
Justice P C Chavan dismissed the petition, noting that an FIR has already been registered against Goswami and probe is underway.
The court was also told that Maharashtra police had questioned some senior members from the channel's management.
It would not be correct to direct the police to arraign any particular person as accused at this stage, the judge said, adding that the police were free to make any person an accused if his or her involvement was seen.
The court also refused to restrain Goswami from conducting news shows.
As he had already filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the FIRs against him in different states, it would not be right to pass any order at this stage, the high court said.
Petitioners' lawyer Rahul Kamerkar alleged that Goswami's show tried to attribute political and religious motives to the lynching in which three persons were killed.
Several cases were filed against Goswami in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Telangana, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir following the program of April 21.
He moved the Supreme Court last month seeking interim protection from arrest and quashing of all the FIRs.
The SC granted Goswami three weeks' protection.