MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to give interim relief to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, arrested in a case of abetment of suicide, and posted his bail plea for hearing on Friday. A bench comprising justice S S Shinde and M S Karnik observed that it cannot pass interim order without hearing the complainant and the state.
The court directed Goswami to make the complainant in the case, Akshata Naik, Anvay’s wife, a respondent to his plea. Goswami was arrested by Raigad police on Wednesday morning from his residence. He is among the three persons named in the suicide note of architect Anvay Naik for not paying his dues. Naik had committed suicide along with his mother in 2018.
Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, appearing for Goswami, said a bail plea filed before the Alibaug magistrate’s court has been withdrawn. “The magistrate had not given clarity on when the bail plea would be heard and had also expressed difficultly in hearing the same as the case lies in the jurisdiction of the sessions court. Hence, we are seeking for interim bail here in high court,” Ponda said.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, also appearing for Goswami, argued that no prejudice will be caused to the prosecution if he was released on bail. The Raigad police, meanwhile, filed a revision application before the Alibaug sessions court, challenging the order passed by the magistrate.
While remanding Goswami and two others to two-week judicial custody on Wednesday in the case, the magistrate had observed that the arrests appeared to be “prima facie illegal”. Chief Judicial Magistrate Sunaina Pingle, after perusal of the case diary and other relevant documents, noted that the prosecution has failed to prima facie establish a link between the deceased and the accused persons.
NHRC seeks report from Mumbai police
The National Human Rights Commission has taken cognisance of the alleged assault on journalist Arnab Goswami and has directed Mumbai and Raigad police to file a report within four weeks. The human rights panel took cognisance of a complaint filed by Goswami’s lawyer Siddharth Nayak who termed the arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief as “unlawful and politically motivated”. Nayak has sought action against Mumbai and Raigad police for what “blatant and brazenly illegitimate action of arresting Goswami”.