Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami was denied interim bail by the Bombay High Court on Monday. Goswami was arrested and remanded to 14 days judicial custody on November 4, and two co-accused in the 2018 abetment to suicide case.
Despite the high court being closed for Diwali holidays, the bench comprising Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik held a special sitting at 3 PM on Monday to pronounce the orders on the interim bail applications in the habeas corpus petitions filed by Goswami and two other accused.
Arnab Goswami case is getting heard every day since he was arrested on 4th November. The bench had heard the case on Thursday and Friday from 3 PM to 5 PM. The bench had held a special sitting on Saturday from 12 noon to 6 PM to hear the case. Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik held a special sitting at 3 PM on Monday. It also heard Advocates Vijay Agarwal and Nikhil Mengde for the co-accused in the matter, Nitish Sarda and Praveen Rajesh Singh, respectively.
Though Senior Advocates Harish Salve and Abad Ponda made vehement submissions seeking ad-interim bail for Goswami, the bench refused to grant it.
The bench clarified that the pendency of the case in the High Court will not be an impediment for the petitioners to seek regular bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the concerned court. If such an application is made, the court ordered, the same should be decided by the concerned court within four days of the filing.
Goswami was arrested on the morning of November in a case registered by the Raigad Police in 2018 for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 52-year old interior designer named Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik. He was remanded to judicial custody by CJM Alibag and was kept at a local school which has been designated as a COVID-19 centre for the Alibaug prison. Yesterday, he was shifted to Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai on allegation of using a mobile phones while in Judicial Custody.
During hearing of the habeas corpus plea over a span of three days, two main arguments raised by the Petitioner was that (i) the case is politically motivated and (ii) even if allegations are admitted, no case under Section 306 (Abetment of suicide) of IPC is made out.
The State Government however denied the allegations of malice and asserted the victim’s right to seek a fair and complete investigation. It was also submitted that the case was not at a stage where the intention of the accused could be examined, especially when the suicide note mentions his name.
The case against Goswami has been lodged on the basis of a suicide note left by the victim, Anvay Naik, which stated that he (Naik) and his mother decided to take the extreme step on account of payments due to them not being cleared by the owners of three companies – television journalist Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.