Approach lower court: Bombay HC denies bail to Arnab Goswami
Republic TV promoter Arnab Goswami will remain in jail as the Bombay High Court on Monday rejected his interim bail plea, asking him to approach a sessions court. Two other co-accused were also denied any relief in the 2018 abetment to suicide case. Goswami, a known prime time news anchor, was arrested in Mumbai last Wednesday and sent to 14 days of judicial custody.
Goswami is one of the accused in the Anvay Naik suicide case. A Mumbai-based architect Anvay, and his mother Kumud, committed suicide in 2018, allegedly due to financial constraints sparked by non-payment of dues. Last week, Goswami was arrested after police claimed they have new-found evidence. He was taken to Taloja Jail on Sunday, after initially being put up at a Zilla Parishad school.
Meanwhile, the Bombay HC held a special sitting today at 3pm for the matter since the court is shut for Diwali. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik observed that "no case is made out for the release of the petitioner under extraordinary jurisdiction." HC said the accused can approach sessions court, which can decide on the plea within four days.
"Rejection of interim application shall not be construed as an impediment to the petitioner seeking alternate remedies. Observations are prima facie in nature confined to the present application only," said the court. Reportedly, Goswami has approached Alibaug Sessions Court seeking bail.
Goswami, who is being represented by senior lawyers Harish Salve and Abad Ponda, has argued that the case is politically driven. His representatives also claimed that the legal requirement for reopening the case was not met, hence, his arrest is "illegal." However, denying the charges of vengeance, the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government said the bereaved family deserves a fair investigation.
Notably, Goswami was shifted to Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai after he broke prison rules. Investigating officer Jamil Shaikh claimed Goswami used someone's mobile phone and checked social media in judicial custody. While he was being shifted, Goswami spoke to reporters, some from his channel, alleging that he isn't safe. He claimed he was assaulted and that there is a threat to his life.
"At 6 o'clock, they woke me up and said they will not let me speak to the lawyers. Please tell the people of the country, my life is under threat. My life is in danger, please tell the courts to help me," he said.
Goswami, who is a staunch critic of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, has found support from BJP bigwigs, including Home Minister Amit Shah. His arrest was termed as an attack on the free press. Today, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requested HC to take a suo moto cognizance of the manner in which Goswami was arrested and treated while being in custody.