MUMBAI: Republic TV owner and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami will continue to remain in judicial custody after the Bombay High Court refused to grant immediate relief to him in the case of abetment of suicide.
The High Court directed Goswami's lawyer to approach the Sessions Court with his bail application.
The hearing in the habeas corpus and bail pleas that were filed went on for over six hours on Saturday.
The High Court had called for the special sitting to hear the applications filed by Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, and two other accused - Feroze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda - seeking interim release from custody in the 2018 Anvay Naik abetment of suicide case, but it refused to pass an immediate order. The order is likely post-Diwali.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve pleaded for an ad-interim bail for Goswami. But a division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik refused to grant interim relief to all those accused in the abetment of suicide case.
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Justice Shinde said they cannot pass the order on Saturday since it was already 6.00 PM. "We will clarify that pendency of the petition will not bar the petitioner from approaching the Sessions Court for bail and if such an application is filed, it should be decided within four days."
While Salve insisted that an ad-interim relief be granted, Justice Shinde indicated that the court will reserve orders and will pronounce them sometime in the coming week. He assured that the court will pronounce the order as early as possible.
The court clarified that the pendency of the case will not come in the way of the petitioners approaching the Sessions Court for bail. If such an application is made, the High Court ordered the same will have to be decided by the concerned court within four days of the filing.
The Maharashtra government's lawyer disputed the maintainability of the petitions.
Senior Advocate Amit Desai submitted that habeas corpus petitions are not maintainable for bail. He further pointed out that the habeas corpus petition is not maintainable against the judicial order of remand.
"No writ of habeas corpus can be issued if a person is in custody in pursuance of a judicial order, Floodgates of the judicial system, which is already creaking, will creak further if such applications are entertained," Desai argued.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra police appealed in the Sessions Court against the order of Chief Judicial Magistrate while demanding police custody of Arnab Goswami and the other two accused to probe the case further.