The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami and his fellow accused in an abetment to suicide case. The court argued that if it did not interfere, they would be “traveling to the path of destruction”, Live Law .
A division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee was hearing the plea filed by Goswami, Neetish Sarda and Parveen Rajesh Singh against the Bombay High Court's denial of interim bail. The apex court observed that the high court had erred in rejecting the application for interim bail on November 9.
Goswami was arrested on November 4 and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days in connection with the 2018 suicide of an interior designer named Anvay Naik. Goswami is accused in Naik's suicide note of not paying the designer the money owed to him by Republic TV's parent company.
The police had closed the in 2019, but it was reopened in May this year.
Appearing for Goswami, senior advocate Harish Salve argued that “the power of reinvestigation has been wrongly used.”
Live Law as saying: “There is an FIR which is three years old and he is arrested. That too during the Diwali week and then he is transferred from Taloja Jail. There is no doubt about what they are trying to do...In fact, I am applying, transfer this to the CBI and if he’s guilty, send him to jail! Will heavens fall if the man is released on...interim bail?”
Salve noted that since there was no personal relationship between Goswami and Naik, mere contractual disputes “cannot be abetment to suicide”.
“The way he was arrested..20-30 armed policemen reach his house...arrest him without prior notice and straightaway take to Raigad from Mumbai.is he a terrorist? Is there a murder charge on him?” LiveLaw him as saying.
Pointing out that “our democracy is extraordinarily resilient”, the bench said, “If state governments target individuals, they must realize there is apex court to protect the liberty of citizens." It also pulled up the high court, urging it to "exercise your jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty".
The media industry is in crisis. Journalists, more than ever, need your support. You can support independent media by paying to keep news free. Because when the public pays, the public is served and when the advertiser pays, the advertiser is served. Subscribe to Newslaundry today.