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Bombay HC directs Arnab Goswami to remain present at police station on June 10

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JUN 09, 2020 05:32 PM IST

The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami to attend NM Joshi Marg police station on June 10 for interrogation with regards to the two FIRs registered against him in NM Joshi Marg police station as well as Pydhonie Police Station. Goswami had filed petitions in the Bombay high court seeking quashing of the FIRs against him in the two police stations. The court has posted the petitions for hearing Friday.

The division bench of justice Ujjal Bhuyan and justice Riyaz Chagla while hearing the criminal writ petition of Arnab Goswami filed through advocate Madhavi Doshi seeking various reliefs included quashing of the two FIR’s filed against him on April 22 and May 2 with regards to the reporting of the April 14 protest of migrants at Bandra station.

Senior counsel Harish Salve for Goswami submitted that multiple FIRs had been filed across the country for the same incidents, and as per a Supreme Court order multiple FIRs in different states for the same incident were not sustainable, hence the FIR filed against Goswami should be quashed. While referring to section 153 under which Goswami has been booked, Salve submitted that no offence was made out under the section. He also said that as Pydhonie police station was in a containment zone, Goswami should be exempted from reporting there on June 10.

However, senior counsel Kapil Sibal who appeared for the state of Maharashtra along with public prosecutor Deepak Thakare and additional public prosecutor SR Shinde submitted that the allegations made against Goswami in the FIRs were sensitive in nature hence he should be asked to attend the police station to enable them to complete their investigations.

After hearing the submissions, the bench directed Goswami to attend NM Joshi Marg police station on June 10, instead of Pydhonie police station and asked the Pydhonie police to conduct its interrogation there instead. The court also restrained the police from arresting Goswami and posted the matter for hearing on Friday June 12.

When advocate Doshi was contacted she refused to speak.

Goswami has been accused of instigating hatred against the Muslim community while anchoring a programme on the protests by migrants outside Bandra Station. The FIR at Pydhonie police station has stated that Goswami during the programme had targeted the mosque outside the station though it had nothing to do in the gathering of migrants.

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