Arnab Goswami skips his hearing with Mumbai PoliceUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 23:56 IST
Republic Television editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on Friday skipped the hearing with Mumbai Police over proposed chapter proceedings against him. Instead, Goswami submitted his say on the police’s show-cause notice through his lawyer Abad Ponda.
Mumbai Police had on October 10 issued a show-cause notice to Goswami, asking why a chapter proceeding under section 108 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) should not be initiated against him. A chapter proceeding is a preventive measure police take to keep a check on anti-social elements (facing serious criminal charges) in the city. The notice refers to the “objectionable coverage” of two incidents – the lynching of sadhus at Palghar and gathering of migrants outside Bandra station during lockdown – and stated that Goswami and his channel gave a “communal colour” to the incidents and tried to “incite communal tension between Hindus and Muslims”.
Sources said Goswami has refuted all allegations. “We have challenged the jurisdiction of the show-cause notice on the grounds that related matters are before the Supreme Court and Bombay HC and the police can’t issue such a notice,” Ponda told HT.
A senior inspector of NM Joshi Marg police station had sent a proposal to Sudhir Jambavdekar, assistant commissioner of police (ACP) (Worli division), seeking preventive action against Goswami. Acting on the proposal, Jambavdekar initiated the process. “We accepted his request for exemption from in-person appearance for the hearing. We will go through his response and if it is not satisfactory, we will decide course of action,” Jambavdekar said. The next hearing is on October 24. If the ACP does not find Goswami’s response satisfactory, he can initiate chapter proceedings against the latter and the editor-in-chief would have to execute a legal security bond for good behaviour for a year. If he violates the bond, he would have to pay a penalty of ₹10 lakh or face jail. He would also have to pledge he won’t indulge in any act of dissemination of seditious matter. Goswami has to produce a person as ‘security’ who would take responsibility of his behaviour for the period mentioned. He has two FIRs against him at NM Joshi Marg and Pydhonie police stations for similar offences.
Meanwhile, Assembly speaker Nana Patole has asked Goswami to submit his side on the two breach of privilege notices served to him.