The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition filed by Republic TV and its Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami seeking protection for all the employees of the news channel from coercive action by Maharashtra Police.
Arnab Goswami Supreme Court Petition alleging continuous hounding of Republic TV and its employees by the Maharashtra Police and seeking a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was withdrawn after a Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud remarked that it was “ambitious in nature”.
“This petition is ambitious in nature. You want Maharashtra police not to arrest any employee and transfer to CBI. You better withdraw this,” said Justice Chandrachud.
Goswami’s counsel, Senior Advocate Milind Sathe then chose to withdraw the plea after the Court granted liberty to Goswami and Republic TV to move appropriate forum for relief.
A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee expressed disinclination to entertain the Arnab Goswami Supreme Court Petition and suggested that the Arnab Goswami Supreme Court Petition be withdrawn and be pursued in other appropriate remedies.
Senior Advocate Milind Sathe, appearing for the petitioners, told the bench at the outset that the petition was filed seeking protection from the “hounding of the channel and its employees for last few months”.
“This is a little ambitious, Mr. Sathe”, Justice Chandrachud remarked after seeing the prayers in the Arnab Goswami Supreme Court Petition such as direction to Union of India to grant protection to Republic employees, transfer all cases to CBI, restrain Maharashtra police from arresting Republic employees etc.
“You better withdraw this, Mr. Sathe’, Justice Chandrachud suggested.
On this, Mr.Sathe sought liberty to pursue alternate remedies.
Accordingly, the Arnab Goswami Supreme Court Petition was withdrawn without prejudice to the rights of the petitioners to seek alternate remedies.
It was on October 23 that the Mumbai police registered FIR against the anchors and the editorial team of the Republic TV alleging that they incited ‘disaffection’ among police officials with their report suggesting that a “revolt was brewing against Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh.”
The FIR was registered at NM Joshi Marg police station under Section 3(1) of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922 read with Section 500, 34 of Indian Penal Code on a complaint filed by PSI Shashikant Pawar, Special Branch 1.
“By broadcasting such content, the channel and its journalists intentionally tried to incite disaffection among the police personnel against the police commissioner and the act also maligns Mumbai Police’s image”, the FIR alleged.