HC Extends Arnab’s Interim Protection in Abetment of Suicide Case
The HC has also granted exemption for Arnab Goswami from appearing before the Alibaug Magistrate on 10 March
The Bombay High Court on Friday, 5 March extended interim protection to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on an amended plea by Goswami, seeking to quash the FIR and charge sheet against him in connection with the 2018 abetment of suicide case against him.
The HC bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale have also granted exemption for Goswami from personally appearing before the Alibaug Magistrate on 10 March, reported Live Law. The next hearing is on 16 April
Goswami’s legal counsels Senior Advocate Sanjog Parab and advocate Malvika Trivedi, instructed by Phoenix Legal, submitted that the case was reinvestigated by the police under political pressure by the state of Maharashtra, and he is apprehending “false implications and illegal detention” if he appears before the Magistrate court, added the report.
Goswami’s petition also accused Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of putting out “vendetta driven” statements in public, adding that the police are allegedly acting on the behest of Deshmukh, according to the report.
What’s the Case About?
Goswami, along with two others, Niteish Sarda (Smartworks, owed Rs 55 lakh) and Feroz Shaikh (IcastX/Skimedia, owed Rs 4 crore), have been booked under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The suicide note of interior designer/architect Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik, discovered by the local police in 2018, said that he and his mother were in acute financial distress, which was why they had decided to take their lives.
According to the note, their financial troubles had been caused because large payments owed to his company Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd had not been paid by three clients, including Arnab Goswami/Republic TV.
The amount owed is said to be Rs 83 lakh.
Case Closed, Resurfaced
The case resurfaced after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered the case to be reopened in May 2020, following an approach by Naik’s daughter Adnya.
The Raigad police had previously filed a report to close the case in April 2019, which had been accepted by a judicial magistrate on 16 April 2019.
Naik’s wife Akshata – who had filed an FIR with the police back in 2018 itself – consistently pushed for the case to be reinvestigated, putting out several videos about the matter on social media.
Goswami and Republic have denied the allegations, and claimed that 90 percent of the amount due to Naik’s company for its work on the channel’s Mumbai studio had been paid as per the contract.
(With inputs from Live Law)
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