Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, has moved the Supreme Court and filed a petition seeking quashing of a fresh FIR filed against him. Secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society, Irfan Abubakar Shaikh has filed the plea accusing Goswami of disturbing communal harmony through his flagship debate show on the Hindi News Channel, Republic Bharat where he allegedly communalised the Bandra migrant incident.
According to the petition, Goswami, in his debate show called this incident a “conspiracy” and labelled the migrants as “actors” who were planted by people with “vested interests”. an FIR was filed against Arnab Goswami and charged with various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Section 153 dealing with provocation with the intent to cause riot, Section 153A on promoting enmity between groups, 295A which deals with outraging religious feelings of any class of citizens, among others. Other Sections invoked against Goswami are Sections 500, 505 (2), 511 and 120 B of the IPC.
Goswami has questioned in his debate that why such a large gathering had assembled near a mosque at a time when physical distancing ought to have been maintained and hinted at the incident being a conspiracy by the minority community.
Goswami has moved the Supreme Court, seeking for this FIR to be quashed and for a blanket direction that no cognizance of any complaint would be taken by any court nor any FIR registered by the police on the same cause of action as in the present Writ Petition. He has also sought a restraint against the “servant and agents” of the State of Maharashtra from filing any FIR against him in relation to his debate programs on the issue of the Bandra incident.
Congress Party Ecosystem stated in petition,
Arnab has claimed that the Congress Party ecosystem also tried to build a fake narrative of a fabricated migrant crisis in Mumbai and has claimed that Republic TV was the first channel to report the fact that political interest groups, mainly leaders of the Congress were spreading fake news and orchestrating lockdown violations in Mumbai which is a matter of national concern.
Mumbai Police harbors ill will
Goswami has claimed that the FIR is “politically motivated” and goes on to claim that same has been registered as the Mumbai Police “harbours ill will” against the petitioner.
“The FIR is politically motivated and has been registered as the Mumbai police harbors ill-will and malice towards the Petitioner as evident from the manner in which investigation is being conducted by the Mumbai police (in the defamation case filed by Congress worker)”
The petition stated,
Since the Police realised that the anchor could not be “framed” in the case in relation to objectionable comments made against Sonia Gandhi, a new FIR has now been registered.
“the Mumbai Police, has registered the FIR based on a complaint filed by the Respondent No 3 (Irfan Abubakar Shaikh), which is patently false, vindictive, frivolous, malicious and precipitated with malice.”
The Bandra incident was a “fake migrant crisis” which Goswami “unearthed” through his debate program.
Arnab Goswami in his prayer has also sought for adequate security to his family and colleagues at Republic TV. Arnab Goswami in his previous petition had also sought for protection from the Central Government.
Read the FIR here: