India’s most watched TV anchor, Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami was arrested by Alibaug (Maharashtra) police for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer in 2018, a police official said. After a high voltage drama that ensued following his arrest at 6.00 AM in Lower Parel in Mumbai, Arnab was produced in court in Alibaug, 100 kilometres from his Lower Parel residence.
The case of 2018 involves the deaths of two people Anvay Naik and interior designer who worked for Arnab Goswami to design the Republic TV studios and his mother – when both allegedly committed suicide in 2018.
The police claim that as per the suicide note of Anvay Naik, three firms owed Naik’s company Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd monies as below:
- Arnab Goswami owed Anvay Naik Rs 83 lakh;
- Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia owed Rs 4 crore and
- Niteish Sarda of Smartworks owed Rs 55.
According to the police Anvay Naik in the suicide note claimed he was ending his life due to non-payment of his dues by Goswami, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.
Arnab Goswami has always maintained that he has done thing wrong or against Anvay Naik’s company.
The case was closed in 2018 after investigation by the Maharashtra police found nothing or insufficient evidence to proceed against Arnab Goswami. A Closure Report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 was filed and it was accepted by the Magistrate on April 16, 2019 leading to the closure of the case against Arnab Goswami for good.
For the common man – this closure report – is a very crucial legal document – which can be objected to at that stage. If the Magistrate accepts and thus so finds that the matter needs to proceed, he has the power and discretion to not accept the closure report and give further directions in the matter.
If on the other hand, the report is accepted by the magistrate – as was the case in Anvay Naik’s death case accepted on 16 April 2019, the case is closed for good.
To re-open the same case, the police have to seek court’s permission. And Arnab Goswami’s case – his team says it was not done, which renders the whole act and drama of Arnab arrest with AK 47 and Assault Rifles wielding Police barging into Arnab’s residence at 6.00 AM in the morning – “illegal”.
Despite people of India coming out on to the streets asking for Arnab;s immediate release, in a court hearing which lasted well past the usual 5.00 PM closing time, Arnab Goswami was remanded to judicial custody till November 18.
Kangana Ranaut reacted to Arnab arrest in an expected way. See the video:
According to a statement released by the Republic Network, Arnab accepts his media network ARG Outlier owes deceased Anvay Naik’s company money but claims Republic has paid 90% of what was due to Anvay Naik and the remaining 10% was unpaid pending the completion of work which was not undertaken.
The statement also claims that Mrs Akshata Naik, wife of the deceased wanted the payment to be made to third parties and no her late husband’s company which was initially not acceptable to Republic team.
The statement claims Republic, in July 2019 made the full and final payment to Anvay Naik’s company but the money was returned because the account was “inoperative”.
The statement also adds that after legal consultations, Republic emailed on January 25 2020, and messaged through WhatsApp on February 26 & 27 2020 – offering to make the payments as directed by Mrs Akshata Naik, subject to Republic getting due indemnification. They allege there has been no cooperation or response from Mrs Akshata Naik.
The Republic media statement claims they have full record of all communication which allegedly proves that Mrs Akshata Naik is fabricating facts.
In addition to Arnab arrest, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks have also been arrested.