Arnab Goswami released by SC

Flamboyant TV host and Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami was released from Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail within hours after the Supreme Court on granted him interim bail yesterday November 11, in a special urgent hearing during Diwali vacations.

This will allow Arnab Goswami to be with his family for the festival.

Mumbai Police had arrested him saying they were conducting further investion in to an abetment to suicide case of 2018. The case was officially closed on 16 April 2019 when a closure report was filed and accepted by the magistrate.

On Monday, 9 November, the Bombay High Court had rejected Arnab’s petition for interim bail directing him to seek relief in the form or regular bail under Section 439 of the CrPC 1973 in the Sessions Court.

Arnab had appealed that decision in the Supreme Court seeking the Apex Court’s indulgence.

“We are of the considered view that the High Court was in error in rejecting the applications for the grant of interim bail”, a Vacation Bench of Justice DY Chndrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee said.

In its interim order (read full order here), the court ordered the Maharashtra authorities to release the journalist forthwith.

The court will deliver its full, reasoned judgement evaluating the arguments raised by all sides, later.

Along with releasing Arnab Goswami, the Bench also released on interim bail to the other two accused named in the suicide note of Anvay Naik.

All three were released “subject to each of them executing a personal bond in the amount of Rs 50,000 to be executed before the Jail Superintendent”.

The top court directed all three accused to cooperate in the investigation and not make any attempt to interfere with the ongoing investigation or with the witnesses.

“The concerned jail authorities and the Superintendent of Police, Raigad are directed to ensure that this order is complied with forthwith,” the Order said.

“Whatever be his ideology, at least I don’t even watch his channel, but if in this case constitutional courts do not interfere today, we are travelling the path of destruction undeniably,” Justice Chandrachud said.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Arnab Goswami had argued that the re-investigation ordered by the Maharashtra Home Minister was illegal and mala fide.

Salve submitted that the constitutional court must look into these aspects and technical argument on regular bail, etc, can’t come in the way.

“A man in Maharashtra committed suicide, saying the Chief Minister failed to pay him salary? What do you do? Arrest the Chief Minister?” Salve wondered highlighting the fact that there was no direct nexus – which was an important link in the chain which was missing.

Supreme Court as guardian of liberty of people of India
The apex court, expressing serious concern over state governments’ targeting some individuals on the basis of ideology and difference of opinion, said they (the state politicians) must realise that there was the Supreme Court to protect the liberty of citizens.

Former Congress party MP and minister and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the Maharastra Government along with Senior Counsel Amit Desai both opposing Arnab Goswami’s petition for interim bail.

India’s Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the Centre.

Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi and Gopal Sankaranarayanan appeared for the other two accused in the matter.

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