Supreme Court Disposes of Appeals in the Case of Indian News Anchor Arnab Goswami

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The appellant filed this appeal before the Supreme Court and sought his release from custody and a stay of all further proceedings including the investigation in accordance with the FIR.

Brief facts of the case

The appeal arises out of the petition in which the appellant sought three reliefs before the Bombay High Court, which are as follows: A writ of habeas Corpus in which he claimed that he had been illegally arrested and wrongfully detained by the SHO of Alibaug Police Station Maharashtra with regard to an FIR registered on 5 May 2018 u/s 306 and 34 of the IPC. Also sought to quash the above stated FIR and the arrest memo. The origin of this FIR could be discovered in December 2016, when a company named ARG awarded a contract for civil and interior work to another company, CDPL which was owned by Anvay Naik (deceased). The FIR was lodged on 5 May 2018 on the complaint of Akshyata Anvay Naik (informant), the wife of the deceased who is alleged to have committed suicide.

Arguments before the court

Mr. Sankaranarayanan, the counsel who appeared on the behalf of appellant had supported the submissions on the essential conditions of Section 107 of the IPC by relied on various decisions. He further argued that there was no reference about the appellant in the FIR lodged on 5 May 2018 on the instruction of the informant. Lastly, he urged that interference of the executive in the course of an investigation or prosecution is impermissible.  Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, the counsel who appeared on behalf of the appellant, submitted that all the three named accused in the FIR are not connected. The appellant is the Director of SmartWork Business Centre Pvt. Ltd. with less than one percent of the shareholding in his name. He also argued that there was no indication of any connection or any personal interaction between the appellant and the deceased.

Observation of the court

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The court observed that the Bombay HC had failed to perform its adjudicatory function at 2 levels which were in refusing to evaluate the interim stage in a petition for quashing the FIR as to whether an arguable case has been made out, & secondly, in refusing interim bail, as a consequence of its failure to render an opinion on the first impression. The SC has observed that an HC in its jurisdiction u/a 226 of the Indian Constitution has the power to grant bail in any concerned case.

The decision of the court

The Supreme Court had disposed of all appeals and accordingly directed the release of all the three appellants on bail pending the disposal of the proceedings before the High Court.

Click here to view the judgment.


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