New Delhi: The Supreme Court granted Wednesday interim bail to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. He was arrested last week in connection with a 2018 abetment to suicide case. The court also asked the high court’s to exercise their jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty. Senior lawyer Harish Salve represented Arnab Goswami in the top court. He argued that the power to re-investigate was being wrongly used. “We are well past the FIR stage. The FIR was lodged May 5, 2018, and after this matter was investigated. “The power to re-investigation has been wrongly used,” Salve said.
Salve’s argument came in the backdrop of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordering a re-investigation. The re-investigation was started on the basis of a fresh complaint by the family of interior designer Anvay Naik. He along with his mother Kumud had died by suicide in May 2018. In a suicide note, Naik had alleged non-payment of dues by firms of the accused.
A vacation bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee expressed concern over state governments targeting ‘individuals on the basis of ideology, difference of opinion’. It said that they must realise there is an apex court to protect liberty of citizens.
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The Supreme Court also said that Indian democracy is ‘extraordinarily resilient’. It asked the Maharashtra government must ignore all this (Arnab’s taunt on TV).
“Whatever be his ideology, least I don’t even watch his channel but if in this case constitutional court’s do not interfere today, we are travelling the path of destruction undeniably,” Justice Chandrachud said. He added, “The point is can you deny personal liberty of a person on these allegations.”
“We are seeing case after case where HCs are not granting bail and failing to protect personal liberty of people,” the bench further stated.
Goswami had moved the top court Tuesday challenging the Bombay High Court’s order denying him bail.
It should be stated here that Goswami, and two other accused, Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda, were arrested November 4. They were produced before the court on the same day. The magistrate, however, refused to send them in police custody. They were remanded in judicial custody till November 18.
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