If the Mumbai Police tried to arrest Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in the Television Rating Point (TRP) scam case, the Bombay High Court today ordered them to send him three days’ notice.
The submission of state counsel Deepak Thakre that Goswami had to face the investigation and could not assert any special status was also rejected by a bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale.
The court pointed out that the police had been looking into the case for three months but had yet to name Arnab Goswami as a suspect.
Because Arnab Goswami is named as a suspect in the chargesheet, the “sword” of imminent arrest hangs over his head, according to the statement.
Arnab Goswami’s lawyer, Ashok Mundargi, had argued that the country’s criminal law did not allow the police to simply name someone as a suspect without also naming him or her as an accused in a chargesheet.
He had claimed that the police investigation into Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media, which owns and operates all Republic TV channels, was bogus.
More About TRP case Of Arnab Goswami:
According to Mr Mundargi, the police had listed Arnab Goswami, all owners, managers, and all people associated with Republic TV or ARG media as “suspects” in the chargesheet.
Without identifying specific employees (in the chargesheet), the police were given a lot of leeway to continue to “harass” the petitioners, even though there was no evidence against them.
Mr Mundargi stated that the police reopened a 2018 (Anvay Naik) suicide case in which Arnab Goswami was identified as a suspect and arrested him last year.
The Supreme Court granted Arnab Goswami bail, according to Mr Mundargi. While giving Arnab relief, the high court took note of this submission.
“This interim order is granted in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, keeping in view the serious malafide alleged by the Petitioners (Arnab Goswami and ARG media) against respondents (state government and the Mumbai police) and also keeping in view earlier actions taken by Respondent- State and its officials against the Petitioner No.2 (Arnab).
“If during the course of the investigation, you come across something and you want to take coercive action against petitioner number 2 (Arnab ), then you will give 72 hours prior notice (to Arnab),” the bench said.
The high court, however, said, “Mr Mundargi’s request for a stay on the investigation could not be granted as there was no clarity on who was the accused and who was not”.