Arnab Goswami, granted bail by SC, seeks shield to prevent his arrest again
The Supreme Court granted bail to Arnab Goswami, noting that “if this is what our states will do to nail persons, we have to put across this message to all High Courts to preserve the liberty of citizens”.
Hours before Arnab Goswami walked out of Mumbai’s Taloja jail on Wednesday evening, the Republic TV editor-in-chief and his wife Samyabrata Ray moved a Mumbai court to seek pre-arrest bail in a second criminal case registered against him for allegedly assaulting Alibag police officials who came to arrest him on November 4.
Goswami was arrested by Alibaug police on November 4 for allegedly abetting the suicide of 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud in 2018. At the time of arrest, Arnab and his wife had been accused of assaulting members of the police team that went to arrest him.
A woman officer, part of the team of police officials had lodged a complaint against Arnab, his wife and son and two unidentified persons, accusing them of assault. A first information report was filed by the police under several provisions of the penal code including assault to deter a public servant from discharging his or her duty, intentional insult to provoke breach of peace, criminal intimidation and under the Damage to Public Property Act.
Goswami had denied the charge, insisting that they had only protested their illegal arrest. “The basic contention is that no case is made out against him as the arrest itself is illegal. We are relying on the video recorded to put forth our contentions,” Arnab Goswami’s lawyer Shyam Kalyankar said,
The prosecution has also filed a reply before the court opposing his request. The prosecution has claimed that Goswami had no fear for law and he may influence witnesses in the case if granted protection. The court is likely to hear the plea on Thursday.
The request for pre-arrest bail was filed after the Supreme Court granted Arnab Goswami’s request for interim bail in an order that sought to protect the liberty individuals, The court ordered the release of Goswami and two others in an abetment to suicide case dating back to May 2018. The three are accused in an abetment to suicide case filed in May 2018 by the wife of architect Anvay Naik who died by suicide that year and left a suicide note naming Goswami , Niteesh Sarda, and Farooq Sheikh whose companies owed him money for services rendered.
The Supreme Court, which heard Arnab Goswami’s appeal against the high court rejecting his bail request, underlined that it was dealing with a person’s liberty.
“Across the country, if this court is not to interfere today, we are treading on a path of destruction of liberty....you may dislike a person’s ideology and challenge it but if this is what our States will do to nail persons, we have to put across this message to all High Courts to preserve the liberty of citizens,” the bench said.