- NL Sena
A bunch of FIRs have been filed against, mostly for allegedly defaming Sonia Gandhi on his show.
The Supreme Court today granted three weeks' protection from arrest to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in connection with multiple FIRs filed against him in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Jammu and Kashmir.
According to LiveLaw, a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said: "Court intends to protect the petitioner for a period of two weeks from today and permit him to move anticipatory bail application before the trial court or high court. For a period of two weeks, the petitioner shall be protected against any coercive steps in relation to the FIRs arising out of the telecast which took place on April 21."
However, the "two weeks" was later modified to three weeks.
The FIRs were filed against Goswami for allegedly defaming Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. On his primetime show on Republic Bharat, Goswami, while speaking about the lynching of three people in Palghar, Maharashtra, had accused Sonia Gandhi of "having them killed" and masterminding attacks on Hindus as part of a conspiracy with the people of Italy.
Goswami filed a writ petition on Thursday asking that the FIRs against him be quashed. The Supreme Court heard his petition at 10.30 am through videoconferencing.
Advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Siddhartha Bhatnagar appeared for Goswami. Vivek Tankha for Chhattisgarh, Kapil Sibal for Maharashtra, and Abhishek Singvi for Rajasthan.
Arnab's counsel argued that the idea behind the FIRs was to "muzzle the press".
Goswami's lawyers also brought up the alleged attack on the TV anchor in Mumbai Wednesday night. The Mumbai police have arrested two workers of the Indian Youth Congress in connection with the incident.
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