SC to hear Arnab Goswami’s plea challenging Bombay HC order today

The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami’s appeal challenging the Bombay High Court order which refused to grant him interim bail in the 2018 abetment to suicide case.

Goswami, in his petition to the top court, said that the balance of convenience is also in favour of the petitioner (Arnab Goswami) and he would suffer irreparable harm and injury if the operation of the Bombay High Court’ November 9, order is not stayed during the pendency of the present petition.

He stated that his arrest and “illegal” detention is in violation of his right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950.

Goswami stated that his rights to freedom of speech and expression (petitioner being the Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV and Republic TV Bharat news channels) and the right to practice his profession, guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) and Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India, 1950.

He said that his arrest is “politically motivated, malicious as the respondents — Maharashtra state Government, and others — had harbour malice and ill-will against him”.

“Multifarious proceedings have been initiated against him, his news channel, Republic TV and Republic Bharat and their employees at the behest of political dispensation in Maharashtra and the state police,” he said in his petition.

“It is, therefore, most respectfully prayed that the petitioner’s arrest was illegal, mala-fide and politically motivated as evident from the multifarious proceedings initiated against him,” read the petition.

“The Bombay High Court had erred in law by refusing bail to the petitioner (Arnab Goswami) by its order of November 09, 2020, especially when the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Raigad, Alibaug in its remand order of November 4, had observed that the arrest of the petitioner and other accused in the 2018 FIR was illegal and there were no grounds made out for granting police custody of the Petitioner and other accused,” it said.

The petitioner also stated that the Bombay High Court erred in law by refusing bail to the petitioner by its November 9 order, especially when the investigation into the 2018 FIR had been closed by a closure report filed by the police and accepted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Raigad, Alibaug by the April 16, 2019, order.

On November 4, Goswami was arrested in connection with the 2018 suicide case. Later, he was sent to 14-day judicial custody by a lower court later that day.

The suicide case, in which a closure report was filed in 2019, was reopened after Naik’s wife Akshata approached a court. In September this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had ordered a re-investigation into the case after a fresh complaint by Naik’s daughter.

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