Court takes cognisance of chargesheet in suicide abetment case against Arnab Goswami

The Alibaug Magistrate court took cognisance while Arnab’s counsel was arguing at the High Court against such cognisance

Arnab Goswami

The Alibaug Magistrate has taken cognisance of the chargesheet filed in the abetment of suicide case of 2018 against Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV and two other accused. The chargesheet was filed on December 4 by Raigad police and it ran up to 1,914 pages in the case of abetment of suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud. It is alleged that Naik and his mother took the drastic step due to non-payment of dues from Arnab’s firm and two other accused.

Incidentally, as the court took cognisance of the chargesheet, Goswami’s counsel, Senior Advocate Abad Ponda was arguing before the Bombay High Court in a plea seeking to restrain cognisance by the Magistrate. Ponda was informed, in the middle of the hearing about this and he pleaded before the bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik that he be allowed leave to amend the petition and to bring the chargesheet on record.

The bench recorded the same and also directed the Magistrate to expedite the grant of copy of chargesheet and relevant case documents on a formal application made by Goswami through his lawyer, according to LiveLaw. The petition will next be heard on January 6.

During the hearing however, while arguments were being forwarded for restraining the Magistrate from taking cognisance of the chargesheet, Goswami’s counsel, Ponda had placed reliance on Supreme Court’s opinion that the allegations in the FIR did not prima facie constitute offence of abetment of suicide. The bench responded that the observations were prima facie and were made at the FIR stage and that the case had now reached the chargesheet stage, reported LiveLaw.  Justice Shinde observed that the apex court’s judgment was binding only on law and not on facts.

Arnab Goswami was arrested on November 4 and was remanded to two weeks judicial custody. He was granted bail by Supreme Court on November 11 as Bombay High Court had denied him interim bail in the matter. The chargesheet, reportedly, names 65 witnesses in the case and relies upon the suicide note left behind by Anvay Naik, as dying declaration. A forensic report, after comparing handwriting, confirmed that the note was in fact written by Anvay Naik and that he was under no pressure while writing it.



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