Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Bombay High Court to hear more about Arnab’s habeas corpus plea tomorrow

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Bombay High Court today resumed hearing of the habeas corpus petition moved by Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami challenging his arrest in an abetment to suicide case.

The matter will be heard again tomorrow.

The two-judge bench comprising Justices SS Shinde andMS Karnikheard the case. Yesterday, the bench asked the petitioner to implead the informant in the petition of Arnab Goswami.

Advocate for Commissioner of Police, a respondent, in this case, pointed out to the court that since there are no allegations against the Commissioner, he should be removed as a party. To this, Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing Arnab Goswami, intervened and said that he is yet to make submissions. When the court asked whether the remand order is challenged, the court was informed that a revision petition has been filed.

Salve submitted before the court: “I have filed an application under Section 438 with the petition. My petition has express allegations that a case which was closed has been re-opened with malicious intentions.” He further apprised the court of the breach of privilege proceedings which led to the re-opening of the case of abetment of suicide and added that the Supreme Court has granted protection to Arnab Goswami today and a notice has been issued.

Salve said: “The petitioner – Hansa Research Group – just said in court today that its employees are being compelled to incriminate Republic. Regarding the suicide case, I will point out from my plea that I have paid more than 90% of the due amount. Admittedly there was no personal relationship between Arnab Goswami and Anvay Naik.”

Salve referred to a recent Gurcharan Singh judgment of the Supreme Court passed in October 2020, and stated that the act of non-payment is a civil dispute.

The bench said that matter assignments does not allow the top court to hear bail applications. To this Salve said that the high court has powers even under Article 226 to grant bail.

When the court asked about the revision petition, Senior Advocate Shirish Gupte appearing for Adnya Naik submitted that on State’s instructions that the entire order has been challenged.

Salve said: “Whether he will go on his channel and say things against Parambir Singh (Commissioner of Mumbai Police)? Yes, he will. But will that hamper this investigation? No.” When the court asked the need for filing habeas corpus, Salve answered: “Because Milords when we approached this court, he was in illegal detention. Technically habeas corpus may not lie because there is an order of Magistrate for judicial custody. But then the challenge to FIR remains.”

Senior advocate Aabad Ponda, appearing for Arnab Goswami cited Kartar Singh and Girish Suneja matter when the court asked is it normal course to approach the High Court for bail directly. Ponda also asked the court to note Imtiaz Ahmad from the Asian Resurfacing judgment. Ponda further reiterated that the power to grant stay of investigation and trial is a very extraordinary power given to High Courts and the same power is to be exercised sparingly only to prevent abuse of the process.

After the court recorded the consent of parties, it decided to continue the hearing tomorrow at 12 pm.

-India Legal Bureau

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