Sunanda Pushkar Case: HC Rejects Arnab Goswami’s Plea to Quash FIR
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 6 March, dismissed a plea by Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami challenging an order to lodge an FIR against him for the alleged theft of confidential documents pertaining to the probe into the death of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar.
Justice Najmi Waziri rejected the petition saying it was not maintainable.
The trial court's order had come on a complaint by the Congress leader against Goswami for allegedly accessing confidential documents relating to the SIT probe in Sunanda Pushkar's death. It had ordered lodging of FIR against news channel Republic TV and Goswami.
Tharoor had alleged that the confidential documents were "illegally accessed" and "shown/broadcast on their news channel".
Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the journalist, argued that Tharoor had no locus to file the complaint.
Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra raised preliminary objection to the maintainability of the petition and contended that the jurisdiction of the high court under Article 226-227 of the Constitution could not be invoked when an equally effective remedy was available.
He said the journalist should have first availed the option of challenging the trial court's order by way of a revision petition.
In his complaint before the trial court, Tharoor had cited theI replies received from the Delhi Police, which said "it is not permissible to share the information/ documents related to any investigation to any public member/ media till the case is pending investigation."
"It is submitted that above saidI replies by Public Information Officer of Police authorities clearly shows that proposed accused persons accessed the above mentioned documents illegally. It is submitted that complainant filed the complaint with police regarding theft of those documents/ materials and regarding hacking of his e-mail account," it had said.
Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of 17 January, 2014. The couple were staying in the hotel as the official bungalow of Tharoor was being renovated at that time.