MUMBAI: Republic TV owner and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, arrested in connection with the abetment of suicide of architect Anvay Naik, was shifted to Taloja Jail after he was found using a cellphone in the quarantine centre at Alibaug.
The Bombay High has quashed the FIR against Goswami, who has been in judicial custody since November 4, 2020.
Jamil Sheikh, Investigation Officer (IO) of the case at Alibaug told The New Indian Express that the journalist was found active on social media which he had accessed using someone's mobile phone. “We had seized his personal mobile when he was arrested from his Worli residence on Wednesday. As the investigating officer of the case, I wrote to the Alibaug jail superintendent seeking an inquiry report as to how he got access to a phone in the quarantine centre. Thereafter, we decided to shift him to Taloja jail on Sunday morning,” Sheikh added.
While escorting Arnab Goswami in the police van, he spoke with his channel and said that his life is in danger and that he should be granted bail. “I was not allowed to speak with a lawyer and I was also assaulted,” Arnab said.
However, Sirish Gupte, Senior advocate for the Naik family said that if Goswami is given bail, then he will harm the victim's family. “Goswami has already threatened, harassed, and intimidated Naik's family therefore he should not be given the bail,” Gupte said.
Meanwhile, police have also approached the session court against the Alibaug judicial magistrate's 14-day judicial custody order and have demanded police custody. It says that the magistrate earlier accepted the "A" summary (probe closure report) without intimating the victim's family and therefore they do not need the permission of the magistrate to reopen this suicide case.
Besides, Arnab Goswami's lawyer will also approach the session court to secure bail for the arrested journalist.
Goswami and two others - Feroze Shaikh and Nitish Sarda - were arrested by Alibaug police on November 4 in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by companies of the accused.
After his arrest from his Lower Parel residence in Mumbai, Goswami was taken to Alibaug, where the Chief Judicial Magistrate remanded him and the two others in judicial custody till November 18.
Goswami was then kept at a local school which has been designated as a COVID-19 centre for the Alibaug prison.
The Bombay High Court will on Monday pronounce its order on the interim bail application filed by Goswami and the two others in connection with the abetment of suicide case.
A notice issued late Saturday night on the high court's website said the bench would assemble at 3 pm on November 9 for the pronouncement of the order.
(With PTI inputs)