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SC reserves order on Arnab Goswami’s petition seeking transfer of probe to CBI  

The Bench tells him to move High Court if he wants to have his FIR quashed in the Bandra migrants case

Sabrangindia 12 May 2020

arnab

The Supreme Court has reserved orders on Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s writ petition seeking quashing of the FIR filed against communalising of the Bandra migrant gathering while also seeking directions that the probe be transferred to the CBI. Goswami has filed this writ petition as he continues to enjoy the Supreme Court granted protection from coercive action, in the previous case, wherein over 100 FIRs were filed against him across the country for allegedly defaming Congress party President Sonia Gandhi in connection with the Palghar lynching case.

The current FIR was lodged at the instance of Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, secretary of Raza Welfare Society alleging communalization of the Bandra migrant gathering incident, by Arnab’s channel.

The same bench that heard his previous petition, of Justice DY Chandrachud and MR Shah, orally observed that the petitioner can approach the Bombay High Court for appropriate remedies like quashing of FIR or grant of anticipatory bail. The bench stated that they had intervened in the previous matter due to multiple FIRs. The bench while observing that special exemption from normal process of Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be made, said, “We should not create an environment where anybody in particular is exempted from the normal course of proceedings.”

Arguments

Harish Salve, appearing for Arnab Goswami, said that “Considering I have made serious allegations against the local police in my program, I have no problem if the Plaghar incident case is being transferred to the CBI”. Also raising the issue that Goswami was questioned for 12 hours, his counsel said, “The police is interrogating me for 12 hours. Does this FIR require 12 hours of questioning? I think not.” Questioning the manner of investigation of Mumbai police, he added, “Investigating Officer wanted to know who decides the list of guests, news gathering procedures. Financial details were being asked about the company, including the equity and other details…. Why was I asked the details of my editorial team and content by Police?" He was repeatedly asked if he had defamed congress president. He was asked whose money was invested in the channel. 

Putting forth grounds for transfer of the case to CBI, Goswami’s counsel argued, “There has to be a balance between Article 19(1)(a) and sanctity of the criminal investigation. Either hear our matter on merits or transfer the matter to CBI. There could be a chilling effect on the freedom of press… Please transfer to CBI. It's a union vs state problem and I have become a party to this. Of course I can go to Bombay High Court, my request is that the CBI can probe and file report.”

Retorting to the issue of questioning Goswami for 12 hours, Kapil Sibal appearing for State of Maharashtra said, “the accused [Arnab Goswami] said, my fundamental duties were violated, I was not allowed to use my mobile phone, no journalistic process I was allowed to perform, he is asked a consolidated questions. Is this harassment? It is not!”

Simultaneously, the Maharashtra government application which accused Goswami of browbeating the police was also argued. Counsel for Goswami contended, "Affidavit of Police Chief is distressing. Look at this conduct. A Police Commissioner needs court's protection against an accused?”

The Court reserved its order and said that protection for Goswami for coercive action which was granted on April 24 in the previous case, will be extended until the bench delivers its judgment in this case. The Bench said, "We will reserve the orders. We Will extend the protection granted until we deliver the judgement, which we should do so in the next two days."

Counsel for Goswami said, “In case the court is inclined to let Mumbai Police continue with the probe then in that case it should give [Arnab Goswami] some breathing time to move court for appropriate remedy.”

 

Related:

Front Line defenders criticizes repression of dissent and arrest of student activists

Arnab Goswami in hot water again: Widow of interior designer seeks justice in 2018 suicide abetment case

Maha gov't moves SC accusing Arnab Goswami of ‘browbeating’ police

 

SC reserves order on Arnab Goswami’s petition seeking transfer of probe to CBI  

The Bench tells him to move High Court if he wants to have his FIR quashed in the Bandra migrants case

arnab

The Supreme Court has reserved orders on Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s writ petition seeking quashing of the FIR filed against communalising of the Bandra migrant gathering while also seeking directions that the probe be transferred to the CBI. Goswami has filed this writ petition as he continues to enjoy the Supreme Court granted protection from coercive action, in the previous case, wherein over 100 FIRs were filed against him across the country for allegedly defaming Congress party President Sonia Gandhi in connection with the Palghar lynching case.

The current FIR was lodged at the instance of Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, secretary of Raza Welfare Society alleging communalization of the Bandra migrant gathering incident, by Arnab’s channel.

The same bench that heard his previous petition, of Justice DY Chandrachud and MR Shah, orally observed that the petitioner can approach the Bombay High Court for appropriate remedies like quashing of FIR or grant of anticipatory bail. The bench stated that they had intervened in the previous matter due to multiple FIRs. The bench while observing that special exemption from normal process of Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be made, said, “We should not create an environment where anybody in particular is exempted from the normal course of proceedings.”

Arguments

Harish Salve, appearing for Arnab Goswami, said that “Considering I have made serious allegations against the local police in my program, I have no problem if the Plaghar incident case is being transferred to the CBI”. Also raising the issue that Goswami was questioned for 12 hours, his counsel said, “The police is interrogating me for 12 hours. Does this FIR require 12 hours of questioning? I think not.” Questioning the manner of investigation of Mumbai police, he added, “Investigating Officer wanted to know who decides the list of guests, news gathering procedures. Financial details were being asked about the company, including the equity and other details…. Why was I asked the details of my editorial team and content by Police?" He was repeatedly asked if he had defamed congress president. He was asked whose money was invested in the channel. 

Putting forth grounds for transfer of the case to CBI, Goswami’s counsel argued, “There has to be a balance between Article 19(1)(a) and sanctity of the criminal investigation. Either hear our matter on merits or transfer the matter to CBI. There could be a chilling effect on the freedom of press… Please transfer to CBI. It's a union vs state problem and I have become a party to this. Of course I can go to Bombay High Court, my request is that the CBI can probe and file report.”

Retorting to the issue of questioning Goswami for 12 hours, Kapil Sibal appearing for State of Maharashtra said, “the accused [Arnab Goswami] said, my fundamental duties were violated, I was not allowed to use my mobile phone, no journalistic process I was allowed to perform, he is asked a consolidated questions. Is this harassment? It is not!”

Simultaneously, the Maharashtra government application which accused Goswami of browbeating the police was also argued. Counsel for Goswami contended, "Affidavit of Police Chief is distressing. Look at this conduct. A Police Commissioner needs court's protection against an accused?”

The Court reserved its order and said that protection for Goswami for coercive action which was granted on April 24 in the previous case, will be extended until the bench delivers its judgment in this case. The Bench said, "We will reserve the orders. We Will extend the protection granted until we deliver the judgement, which we should do so in the next two days."

Counsel for Goswami said, “In case the court is inclined to let Mumbai Police continue with the probe then in that case it should give [Arnab Goswami] some breathing time to move court for appropriate remedy.”

 

Related:

Front Line defenders criticizes repression of dissent and arrest of student activists

Arnab Goswami in hot water again: Widow of interior designer seeks justice in 2018 suicide abetment case

Maha gov't moves SC accusing Arnab Goswami of ‘browbeating’ police

 

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