SC Reserves Order On Arnab Goswami’s Petition for Quashing Of FIR: Interim Protection Will Continue Till Pronouncement Of Order

Team SoOLEGAL 12 May 2020 3:14pm

SC Reserves Order On Arnab Goswami’s Petition for Quashing Of FIR: Interim Protection Will Continue Till Pronouncement Of Order

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice MR Shah has reserved his order in a plea filed by Arnab Goswami seeking quashing of FIR filed against him for disrupting communal harmony over Migrants' gathering in Bandra. The provisional protection given to Goswami will continue to function until order is issued.

Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, secretary of  Raza Educational Welfare Society, has filed the FIR for allegedly violating the communal harmony over the issue of gathering migrant workers in Bandra in Mumbai.

Senior lawyer Harish Salve who appeared for Arnab Goswami told the bench that “There is a fresh petition and an earlier one also, the incident is of April 16 of a show telecasted on TV. There are a number of FIRs against the petitioner for his show”. 

Adv Salve urges the Bench to issue Goswami an anticipatory bail and submitted that “On April 25, a notice was served to his client requiring his presence in the case before police for questioning. Nature of FIR shows it’s an arm-twisting tactic. They have interrogated him for 12 hours”.

He further submitted that the police interrogation over a telecast was shocking. He also told the bench that one of the two officers interrogating Goswami had been tested positive for COVID 19.

In view of Article 19(1)(a), Adv Salve urged the Bench to consider his appeal. He further stated that “This is a concerted attack by a political party against one journalist”.Justice Chandrachurd further added “This is not just in relation to petitioner. We must ensure somebody is not subject to harassment, but we should not create an environment where anybody in particular is exempted from the normal course of proceedings.”

Salve further questioning the course of the inquiry carried out by the police provided “Why was I asked the details of my editorial team and content by Police? CEO of the company was questioned for over 6 hours. What has a CEO of a company got to do with a news telecast that purportedly caused communal problems?”

Salve further says that “Investigating Officer wanted to know who decides the list of guests, news gathering procedures. Financial details were being asked about the company, including the equity and other detailsThere has to be a balance between Article 19(1) (a) and sanctity of the criminal investigation. Either hear our matter on merits or transfer the matter to CBI. There could be a chilling effect on the freedom of press.”

SG Mehta suggests that if a prima facie case is brought against Goswami, the only remedy is to move the matter to the CBI. It was the accused who would not suspect abuse and the Organization did not require separation from the assault.

Adv Salve has urged the Court to move the investigation to CBI.

Tagged: Arnab Goswami   Interim Protection   SC   Justice DY Chandrachud   Justice MR Shah   FIR   Mumbai   Supreme Court  
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