In the aftermath of Arnab Goswami’s WhatsApp chat with BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta allegedly leaking, Maharashtra Congress Committee on Tuesday, 19 January wrote to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and demanded an inquiry against the Republic TV CEO accusing him of violating the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
As part of the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police, transcripts of their chats purportedly revealed that over a week before the Balakot strike in 2019, Goswami first mentions that his channel was “20 min ahead on the biggest terrorist attack of the year in Kashmir”.
Further, on 23 February 2019, three days before the strike happened, Goswami allegedly told Dasgupta that “something big will happen.”
The delegation wrote, “It is a matter of great concern that Arnab Goswami was not only privy to information of the highest secrecy regarding the national security operations of the Armed Forces but was also openly sharing it with Partho Dasgupta,” adding that his access to this information was “compromise of national security of the highest order.”
Noting that this was a breach of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, the Congress delegation urged the state government to register a case if necessary, as this comes under the state jurisdiction.
The note also highlighted Goswami’s “misuse of the public spectrum of Doordarshan without paying satellite uplinking fees is a major offence committed by Republic TV.”
“The channel, which is also accused of manipulating TRP ratings, used frequencies of the public broadcaster DD to reach millions of additional audiences for free,” it added.
Writing that these developments point to a “pattern of manipulation of the law” for the benefit of his channel, Arnab Goswami’s case should be thoroughly investigated.