Why Arnab did not obtain anticipatory bail as and when Police re-opened the case?
As Republic TV’s Editor and owner Arnab Goswami is continuing his second day in judicial custody, Mumbai High Court will hear his interim bail application on Friday in the abetment of the suicide case of the architect of his studio for non-payment. It appears that there is a big confusion in Arnab’s legal team according to many legal experts which delayed his bail arguments, with withdrawing bail petition from the trial court on Thursday and approaching the High Court, which was hearing his petition to quash the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Police. Ruling parties like the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have already demanded that the former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis be charged as a co-accused for dubious closure of the case in April 2019. In a bid to tighten the case against Arnab, Maharashtra Police had also arrested the earlier investigating officer who closed the case, accusing him of conspiracy with Arnab.
Arnab was arrested on Wednesday from his residence at Lower Parel in Mumbai by Raigad Police after a lot of physical attacks and theatrics. The trial court in Alibagh has sent Arnab on Judicial custody of 14 days (till November 18) on November 4. Anvay Naik’s family also impleaded into Arnab’s petition to quash the FIR, seeking the need for a re-probe. Soon after Arnab Goswami’s attack against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in a very blatant manner in the murder of Sadhus in Palghar, Maharashtra Government ruled by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have re-opened the abetment to suicide case, targeting Arnab in May 2020. Many in legal circles wonder, why Arnab did not obtain anticipatory bail as and when police reopened the case?
Senior counsel Harish Salve who is currently on honeymoon in London after his second marriage, also appearing for Goswami, argued that no prejudice will be caused to the prosecution if he was released on bail.
A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik on Thursday directed Goswami to make the complainant in the case, Akshata Naik, Anvay’s wife, a respondent to his plea. “We have to hear all the parties concerned before considering the interim relief sought. We have to also hear the complainant as the family of the deceased has filed a petition here seeking transfer of the probe,” the bench said.
“The respondents (the Maharashtra government and the complainant) are entitled to respond…We will consider the interim relief sought tomorrow,” the court said. Many legal experts say instead of petitioning to quash the FIR, Arnab should have concentrated on getting bail from the trial court itself.
Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, appearing for Goswami, said a bail plea filed before the Alibaug magistrate’s court has been withdrawn. “The Magistrate had not given clarity on when the bail plea would be heard and had also expressed difficultly in hearing the same as the case lies in the jurisdiction of the sessions court. Hence, we are seeking interim bail here in the high court,” Ponda said.
Senior counsel Harish Salve who is currently on honeymoon in London after his second marriage, also appearing for Goswami, argued that no prejudice will be caused to the prosecution if he was released on bail. The High Court, however, said it cannot consider the issue of bail without giving the respondents a chance to argue.
Meanwhile, the ruling Shiv Sena on Thursday slammed the BJP for describing the arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case as a “black day” and an “attack on the freedom of press“. An editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ said it was surprising that Central Ministers along with state BJP leaders should say there was an “Emergency-like situation” in Maharashtra due to Goswami’s arrest. The editorial in ‘Saamna’ alleged that the previous state government “covered up” Naik’s suicide case to protect Goswami.
It further claimed that a journalist was arrested in Gujarat for writing against the State Government, while in Uttar Pradesh, journalists have been killed. “Nobody felt these incidents were reminders of the Emergency. In fact, the state BJP leaders should demand justice for Anvay Naik, a son of the soil,” the editorial said.
“An innocent man died by suicide along with his aged mother. The dead man’s wife is demanding justice and the police are following the law,” it said. “Where is the question of the fourth pillar (of democracy) being attacked? Those who are saying this are attempting to trample the first pillar,” the editorial said.
 Arnab Goswami, 2 others sent to 14-day judicial custody in 2018 suicide abetment case – Nov 04, 2020, Hindustan times