Bombay High Court Refused to Give Interim Relief to Arnab Goswami

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The famous Journalist, Arnab Goswami, filed a petition in the Bombay High Court. He requested the Court to give him interim relief to not appear before the police station. But the Court denied the relief.

Issue

Arnab Goswami filed a petition in Bombay High Court. He is famous Republic TV Editor-in-chief. He requested for quashing the two FIRs lodged against him and the channel.

Petitioner’s Submission

Harish Salve is the counsel for the petitioner. He referred to the two FIRs filed against Arnab Goswami. The Minister of a State and Congress leader Nitin Raut filed the first FIR in the Nagpur. They filed FIR against Arnab’s statements that he made during his show. Arnab commented on Palghar Mob Lynching Accident. He also made defamatory statements against Sonia Gandhi. They filed the case originally in Nagpur Police Station. But later this case transferred to Mumbai’s NM Joshi Police Station.

Irfan Abubakar Shaikh of Raza Educational Welfare Society filed another complaint. The complaint alleged that he made a communal issue on the crowd gathering at Bandra Station. He tried to spread communal disharmony in the state. This FIR was filed in Pydhonie police station. Thus, Court may give relief to the petitioner from appearing in this police station. It comes under the containment zone due to COVID-19.

Thus, Salve submitted that the two FIRs are identical. Similarly, various FIRs against the petitioner had been filed across India. Mr Salve referred to the Supreme Court’s order of May 19. He referred to paragraph number 31 and 33 of the order. The Supreme Court stated that various FIRs based on the same incident are not sustainable. The Order stated the same.

He also submitted that he did not commit any offence under Section 153B. Salve said that the statements made by him against Sonia Gandhi came under his right to freedom of expression. He also said that Mumbai police harassed him by interrogating him.

Respondent’s Submission

Mr Kapil Sibal said that Arnab Goswami should appear before the police station. Pydhonie Police Station comes under the containment zone. Thus, the Court may ask him to appear before the NM Joshi Police Station.

He also said that “Why’s he afraid of facing the investigation officer? He goes to his studio every day. Is he a special person that he will not be interrogated?”

Court’s Decision

The Court finally asked the petitioner to appear in the NM Joshi Police Station on June 10. The Court will hear the matter again on June 12.


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