Supreme Court to take up Goswami petition against Maharashtra assembly privilege motion on Monday


New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court on Monday will continue its hearing in a petition filed by Republic TV Chief Arnab Goswami against a breach of privilege motion moved by the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly.

In its previous hearing the bench led by the Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian had issued notice to the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly and had sought their response.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve appearing for Goswami had argued that the plea is against a privilege motion passed by the state Assembly. This question is pending before seven benches. He said privilege of the assembly cannot extend beyond the House, just because you use harsh words against the state government. There is an interesting question on whether Article 19 and 21 override the privilege motion. “The N Ram case is exactly the same thing,” he said.

The Chief Justice replied: “We understand the gravity, but this is only a show cause notice and there is no motion.” 

The bench also said it doubted whether the breach of privilege motion had gone through the Privileges Committee at all before it was passed. Salve said a defamation notice could have been given, instead of passing a privilege motion.

Goswami moved the court to challenge the September 16 privilege motion sent to him by the Maharashtra Assembly for his criticism of the government inaction in the Sushant Singh Rajput case.

THE MOTION

Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik had moved the breach of privilege motion, accusing Goswami of using derogatory language against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar. MLA Manisha Koyande had moved a similar motion in the Legislative Council.

The Assembly then sent a 60-page notice to Goswami, alleging that he has breached the privileges of the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra. A similar privilege motion has been moved against actor Kangana Ranaut for claiming that Mumbai resembles Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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