A Division Bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik of Bombay High Court on Saturday issued notice on a petition filed by Adnya Anvay Naik, seeking inquiry against those police officers who had filed closure report in the 2018 abetment to suicide case against Republic TV Chief, Arnab Goswami.
The Court issued notice to the Maharashtra Government during a special sitting held today to hear Goswami’s habeas plea.
The Petitioner is the daughter of a 52-year old interior designer named Anvay Naik, who was allegedly abetted to commit suicide by Arnab Goswami and two others.
It is alleged that Anvay Naik left a suicide note written in English stating that he 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.
Naik said in his suicide note that his company had executed interior works for Republic TV and an amount of Rs 83 lakh was due from Goswami and ARG Outlier Meida Pvt Ltd (parent company of Republic TV).
The Raigad police had closed the case in April 2019 saying that they did not find evidence against the accused named in the suicide note, including Goswami. However, in May this year, the Petitioner approached the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking the case be reopened.
During the course of hearing, the Petitioner claimed that the Police had “miserably failed” to investigate the case and had filed a closure report. It was also alleged that the Magistrate accepted the closure report without serving notice upon her.
Interestingly, the Bench had earlier told the co-accused in the case, who were disputing reopening of the case without Magistrate’s permission, that “Magistrate was legally obliged to serve notice on informant to give opportunity for protest complaint.“
The Bench heard Advocate Subodh Desai, appearing for the Complainant, who informed that it was only in April, when Arnab Goswami’s company tweeted about closing of the matter, that they found out about the Magistrate’s order.
On an inquiry whether the Magistrate’s order had been challenged, Desai explained that after becoming aware of the order in April, they applied for documents under the RTI Act. “It was in the middle of COVID19. Then a complaint was made before the Home Minister,” Desai submitted.