A Bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik of Bombay High Court today issued notice in the habeas corpus plea filed by Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in light of his arrest in connection with a 2018 abetment to suicide case.
Submissions by the Parties
Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda appearing for Goswami before the High Court, stated that he wanted to press only for interim reliefs, which includes a stay on the investigation into the FIR filed in 2018.
The Court responded that it was not inclined to grant relief until notice was issued to the respondents. When the Court expressed its inclination to issue notice in the matter, Ponda asked for “seven minutes” to show why interim relief was required to be granted.
He claimed that the police had started the investigation into the 2018 case by itself, without a judicial order.
When the Bench once again said that it wanted to hear the other side, Ponda said,
“Milord may keep it tomorrow, but every day the detention just keeps getting illegal…The complainant is trying to resurrect a closed case. I withdrew the bail application in Alibaug court, because the court said we will hear in due course.”
Senior Advocate Harish Salve then sought to supplement the arguments made by Ponda. He said,
“Will heavens fall on Maharashtra if he (Arnab Goswami) is released on interim?”
Ponda submitted that the complainants have asked for a re-investigation, but they have admitted that the closure needs to be set aside. He added that the police have tried to revise an order of a magistrate on their own, thus acting under Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). This provision states that no court may alter or review a judgment or final order disposing of a case, except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error.
The Bench then expressed its intention to hear the informant – Akshata Naik – before granting relief. It thus granted leave to Ponda to amend the petition and implead the informant in his plea.
The Court ultimately issued notice to all parties and asked them exchange their pleadings. The matter will be heard tomorrow at 3 pm.