The Supreme Court on April 24 granted three weeks protection from arrest to Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of the Republic TV, on the basis of the FIRs filed against him in the States of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Jammu & Kashmir.
Subsequently, a petition was filed by Goswami which had the Union of India, State of Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu Kashmir and Telangana as Respondents. A bench comprising of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud & Justice M.R Shah issued notice to the states and asked Petitioner to amend his plea for clubbing of FIR. Court also transferred the FIR at PS Sadar, Nagpur to PS NM Joshi Marg in Mumbai for investigation. He further alleged that other FIR’s could also be registered at the behest of Indian National Congress members in violation of his fundamental rights granted under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Arnab Goswami and contended that FIR’s and complaints are principally based on defamation on congress chief and defamation can be filed by an aggrieved party only. These complaints are nearly identical with Sections 153, 153-A,500,504,295A,IPC. Idea is to muzzle the press, involve channel and editor in frivolous complaints.
Kapil Sibal, appearing for the State of Maharashtra argued that the link of the show begins with a statement that the country is having 80% Sanatanis. He said, “You are trying to ignite communal violence here by pitting Hindus against a minority. How can FIR be quashed at this stage? Kapil Sibal put up a question,” What is the problem if Congress people have filed FIR. Don’t BJP people file an FIR?
Justice Chandrachud said, “Court intends to protect petitioner for three weeks and permit him to move anticipatory bail application before the trial court or High Court. We will also stay further proceedings in all FIR’s except one where the cause of action has arisen.”
However, Justice Chandrachud stated that “Court intends to protect petitioner for three weeks and permit him to move anticipatory bail application before the trial court or High Court. We will also stay further proceedings in all FIR’s except one where the cause of action has arisen.”